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Essay about Elimination of Poverty in the Welfare State

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Elimination of Poverty in the Welfare State

The welfare State is a system in which the state takes responsibility for the health and welfare of its citizens/subjects. The state uses benefits, free healthcare, free education and provide adequate living conditions to ensure that people’s health and well being is looked after. One of the aims of the welfare state is to eliminate poverty, poverty can come in many different forms some worse then others. Absolute poverty is when someone’s income doesn’t cover the minimum provisions needed to maintain health; these people are below the poverty line. Relative poverty are those people that cannot afford items that most people consider normal to have, such
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The welfare state was first started by the Liberal government between 1906 – 1919. They started to introduce new services under social security, health, education, housing, employment and the treatment of offenders. Rowntree did research into poverty and this influenced the Liberal government to take responsibility to try to reduce poverty. In 1906 free school meals were introduced, in 1909 old age pensions were given to those who could no longer work. The most important thing the Liberals introduced was National Insurance in 1911. These changes mainly helped the old and disabled as it prevented these groups from going into poverty. However it didn’t help those who were unemployed or already in poverty as they could pay into the National Insurance scheme.

In 1940 – 50, after winning the Second World War the people of Britain never wanted to return to pre war conditions. There had been 20 years of mass unemployment and no help was given to those in poverty. The measures introduced by the Liberal government were not proving successful. The environments and housing people had to live in were of poor condition and helped spread disease.

The Labour government decided that no one should be allowed to live in poverty and the Welfare state should be for everybody. To get rid of disease everyone was to have proper healthcare so the National Health Service was
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