Liberal Reforms and its Impact on the Lives of the People

1446 Words6 Pages
“To what extent did the liberal reforms in 1906-1914 improve the lives of people?”

The Liberal government introduced a series of reforms aimed at moving away from the Laissez-faire ideology and toward a more self help scheme aiming to move people away from poverty and to make Britain a better country both in health and prosperity; Churchill said “If we see a drowning man we do not drag him to the shore, instead we provide help to allow him to swim ashore”. To do this the Liberals aimed at giving aid to the young, the old, the sick, the unemployed and the workers; these groups will be discussed throughout the essay. These reforms were later regarded as the foundations for the welfare state.
Children were one of the most critical groups
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Therefore, despite the idea and intensions being good they did not go far enough to improve the lives and ensure security for the elderly.
The sick were another group the government tried to help. A contributory scheme was introduced for workers in case of illness. At the time there was no free national health service and the poor usually could not afford medical help. The “National Insurance Act” of 1911 gave some medical benefits for the worker who, when working, had paid into the scheme which their employer and the government would then add too. One of the main causes of poverty was the sickness and subsequent absence from work so any amount of income during absence from work would benefit the worker and their family greatly. However there were many problems with the scheme. For a start the workers did not like the idea that 4 pence of their money every week would be taken from them despite the possibility they may not claim on their insurance and they may have need the 4 pence for their own survival at the time. Also, it was only the workers themselves who were able to claim from the insurance despite the difficulties another illness in the family may put upon the other family members. Thus, to be of greater use and to have been viewed in greater favour by many this scheme would need to
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