To what extent is the welfare state of the 21st century similar to that envisaged by William Beveridge?

2155 WordsFeb 14, 20149 Pages
To what extent is the welfare state of the 21st century similar to that envisaged by William Beveridge? This essay will commence by explaining who William Beveridge was and what problems he seen within the welfare state. Following on from this, it will then compare the welfare state of the 21st century to that seen by William Beveridge in his famous “report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Social Insurance and Allied Services” which was published on the 1st December 1942, discussing problems and similarities. The “five giant evils” Beveridge claimed to exist will be indentified and analyzed in depth and how Clement Attlee's 1945 Labour government pledged to eliminate these evils. Margaret Thatcher was the first woman conservative…show more content…
This was the only change that proved more giving; all other changes were less giving. Benefits for the unemployed were not discarded but were only to last for 30 weeks. Marriage and training grants for the self employed were discarded, and most importantly, the scale of the payments received from the contributory scheme fell below the minimum needed for continuation. This resulted in the need for national assistance being means tested, this over the years grew more and more important, which was not what Beveridge had intended. Now, the benefits for the unemployed, more commonly known as ’Job Seekers Allowance’ are calculated annually as to what a person can claim in a week. “On June 29, 2009 the maximum payable was £65.45 per week for a person aged over 25, £53.45 per week for a person aged 18–24. The rules for couples where both are unemployed are more complex, but a maximum of £102.75 per week is payable, dependent on age and other factors.” (Benefit & Tax Credit Rates 2006). The system now is a lot more complex and intricate and although a lot of people rely on the benefit system for survival, poverty is still an enormous issue as it was in the 1940’s. Other acts which were put in place to tackle want/poverty include the Family Allowances Act and the National Assistance Act So how did the Labour Government tackle the other four giants? There were policy initiatives put in place relating to each giant individually. For

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