Post-war Britain

Poverty in post-war Britain Understanding the Welfare State & A ; Education ( ASS019-3 )

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See the grade to which poorness has been a political issue/social job in post-war Britain.


Poverty has been a societal job for 100s of old ages.

A societal job is

It is related to the inequality of resources where a little per centum of society holds the greatest wealth which is disproportional to the remainder of the society that holds fewer resources.

Poverty is hard to specify to the full as it is non a fixed or touchable entity and hence can keep several significances to different persons in different parts of the universe. Nevertheless for the intent of this essay, the analysis of poorness in Britain shall be broken down into absolute poorness or comparative poorness. These are footings used within societal research methodological analysiss and findings, including statistics and qualitative informations.

Absolute poorness is

Relative poorness is

Related factors such as wellness, unemployment, low rewards and certain groups in society such as kids, pensionaries, and lone parents and so on shall besides be discussed farther. The construct of poorness as a political issue or societal job shall be explored from different periods and events that occur after the 2nd universe war, peculiarly ; the execution of the Beveridge Report into the public assistance province and how consecutive authoritiess from the twelvemonth 1945 adopted or altered the rules of this study and the public assistance system. The chief focal point shall be on the two chief political parties of Britain ; Labour and the Conservative, preponderantly the policies they implemented and research grounds of the impact these policies had on British society between the old ages ; 1945-51 ( Labour ) , 1979-97 ( Conservatives ) , 1997-2010 ( Labour ) and 2010 – nowadays ( Coalition ; Conservatives/Liberals ) .

Beveridge Report

Labour station war 1945-51

The Labour party lead by Atlee was extremely favoured for following the Beveridge study and set uping the beginning of the public assistance province.

Conservatives 1979-97 Thatcher & A ; Major

Labour 1997-2010

In 1999, ‘Tony Blair pledged his authorities to a 20-year programme to eliminate child poorness and reconstruct the prestigiousness of Britain ‘s post-war public assistance province as a politically popular vehicle for both personal self-reformation and ‘real security ‘ ( The Guardian, 1999 ) . Further, Blair ensured that the Government ‘s top precedence was kids as one tierce of whom – about 70, 000 – were populating in want and weakness in instruction at the clip ( The Guardian, 199 ) .

Labour review:The Coalition blamed the old Labour authorities for intrenching a benefit civilization, impacting the return for the taxpayer and disregarding causal jobs of poorness by forking out £150 billion entirely on household revenue enhancement credits between 2004 and 2010 whilst the advancement on kid poorness had stalled by 2009. Besides, poorness for working-age grownups between 1998 and 2009 had increased by 800,000 with small betterment in societal mobility ( Department for Education, 2011 ) .

2010-now Alliance

Who are they & amp ; Ideology

Coalition authorities came into power in 2010 and is formed of the Conservatives and the. As a party with involvements in keeping a little province and spread outing the private sector services to promote competition, their policies compliment the individualist political orientation where people should be responsible for themselves through work and merely the deeply vulnerable should acquire aid from the province.

When the Coalition came into power in 2010, they proposed a ‘Child Poverty Strategy’ that included duty, support for the most vulnerable, fairness and work as the nucleus rules of cut downing poorness. It was argued by the Department for Education in 2011, that around 1.9 million kids in the UK were populating in families where no-one works. Despite Britain being one of the richest states, this was the highest rate than in any other parts of the European Union at the clip. They argued that the system should honor those that are responsible to happen and remain in work and therefore the constitution of a new public assistance province will be rooted in the belief that work, non public assistance or a manus out civilization, is the best path out of poorness for those capable to work. Therefore, where households can work themselves out of poorness and do the right thing the authorities will do certain the system makes work wage. The justification for this was that around 2010, around 55 per centum of kids who were in poorness were populating in working households ( Department for Education, 2011 ) . However, working entirely will non drive out a household or an single out of poorness as there is the job of high rents within the private sector, high energy costs and low income or more portion clip occupations and nothing contract hours instead than full clip work. Therefore, different countries would necessitate to be tackeled to to the full get down to work out the job of poorness amongst people of Britain.

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To relieve youth unemployment, in 2012, the Coalition introduced a £1 billion Youth Contract that involved a scope of support systems and allowed concerns to give non-working young persons preparation, employment, apprenticeships and work experience (DWP, 2015 ) .

Universal Credit was introduced in 2013 for persons seeking for work or on low income by uniting a scope of working-age benefits into a individual payment. It was supposed to promote people on benefits to get down paid work or increase their hours by doing certain work wages (DWP, 2015 ) .

Statistical grounds shows that between April, 2005, lone parents on the Job Seekers Allowance claimant count was merely 6, 985 and invariably fluctuated for 3 old ages. From late 2008, the Numberss of claimants increased drastically to over 100, 000 claimants and so decreased below this figure from September 2014 ( DWP, 2015a ) . Changes in figures are linked to the alterations made by the labour authorities before the Coalition where the youngest kid of the claimant lone parent was reduced. Today, as a consequence of the Welfare Reform Act, 2012 implemented by the Coalition, the age has been dropped to 5 old ages old. From that age, lone parents will non be eligible. Findingss besides suggested that over 50 per centum of claimants are females and white people make up the highest figure of claimants when looking at cultural groups ( DWP, 2015a ) . This can be linked to restrictions of the Beveridge Report where it was susceptible to gender favoritism and racism.

From the fall of 2015,working households will be able to claim 20 % of child care costs up to £2,000 for each kid under 12 under a new tax-exempt child care strategy. Disabled kids up to the age of 16 will besides be eligible (Department for Work and Pensions, 2015 ) .

In 2013, harmonizing to Laverne ( 2014 ) , Joseph Rowntree Foundation found the cost of eliminating the jobs related to poverty such as antisocial behavior and educational failure, summed up to £29billion a twelvemonth. The Conservatives argued they could make it for less ; nevertheless it is questionable as to whether they would pass so much money on this societal job. Yet, the current authorities is cutting £3000 from the benefit cap and halting 18-21 twelvemonth olds who have been unemployed for over six months from claiming jobseeker’s allowance or lodging benefit. It can be argued that the ground for this is that immature people with the eligibility to vote make non be from a political point of position, as they tend non to vote. Therefore the alliance authorities policy is non designed around people who vote and instead on other groups such as pensionaries ( Laverne, 2014 ) .

The current Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Smith discussed in a recent policy, ‘Helping to cut down poorness and better societal justice’ of the alliance government’s attempts to cut down poorness by making the followers ; cut down kid poorness, make work wage and aid persons to happen and stay in work, assist troubled households and twosomes to remain or work together after holding kids, with aid from wellness visitants. Additionally, the authorities will work in partnership with private companies, national and local authorities sectors, the community and voluntary sectors, every bit good as altruists and investors to efficaciously undertake poorness ( Smith, 2014 ) . For Smith ( 2014 ) , work is the most sustainable path out of poorness. The chief aims of the policy are to stop kid poorness in the UK by 2020 and increase the engagement of 16 to 24 twelvemonth olds in instruction and employment to better societal mobility and excite economic growing. The Universal Credit strategy should do the passage between benefits to and from work much simpler by fall ining all in and out of work benefits into a individual monthly payment. It is argued that this simple system will besides assist persons to see the advantages of taking work instead than trusting on benefits ( Smith, 2014 ) .

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New Labour ‘s reforms during their administration, specifically targeted for hapless groups, included pupil finance, the New Deal welfare-to-work programme for 18-25s ; disablement and related reform ; the model for pension reforms and minimal income warrant ; child support reform ; and the working household revenue enhancement recognition ( WFTC ) strategy, with added kid benefit ( The Guardian 1999 ) .

Lecture notes

Welfare province impacted by denationalization of the Thatcher period.

With cosmopolitan recognition adult females lose out the most, lose an sum of their benefits.

The footing of public assistance province was founded after the atrociousnesss of the war and 1920s and 1930s depression by the Labour Government during 1945 to 1951, led by Atlee. There was a demand for good criterion of life. The Beveridge Report 1942, a leaked paper, suggested undertaking social jobs or the 5 ailments of society ; sordidness, disease, want, idleness and ignorance. National insurance parts were to fund the public assistance province and so the public assistance province was to be self-sufficing and non a net income devising administration. However, people were merely meant to hold the bare minimal support. Liberals at the clip were against the thought and argued that people should gain it and would finally desire more than merely the bare lower limit ( Muphy, 2014 ) . Therefore the public assistance province was put in topographic point to assist those in societal demand and the governing labour authorities promised to better instruction, provide societal lodging and a free National Health Service ( NHS ) and full employment for the returning military personnels. The labour party was more socialist than the other party, Conservatives and so they were elected in 1945 because their pronunciamento adopted the rules of the Beveridge program which were extremely favoured by the British people. In 1947, the public assistance province was in its purest from of all time with good populace services, free schooling, with the purpose to make equality between the rich and the hapless and had a positive psychological impact on the people. However, the Conservatives remained against this as they held a neo-libertarian attack where the rich should be protected ( Murphy, 2014 ) .


Developments that followed included the Conservative reign of Margaret Thatcher and John Major between 1979-1997

and the decrease of the public assistance province to one where people were responsible to assist themselves. Thatcher Review: Blair accused the old Conservative authoritiess for making farther inequality and really increasing welfare outgo regardless of their attempts to cut down public assistance payments and dependence ( The Guardian, 1999 ) .

The Beveridge Report has been criticised for being discriminatory against race and gender.

Today, the public assistance theoretical account is out of synch with current society as the parts have non been adjusted to fit the extent of public assistance disbursement by the Coalition. At the same clip, there are many people on low rewards and revenue enhancements are non high plenty to be able to prolong the province as with the Nordic theoretical account where higher revenue enhancements keep the public assistance province as self-sufficient. This attack found in Britain, can be described as market liberalism where low income is acceptable if one can afford the cost of life, harmonizing to Conservatives. However, the minimal pay of £6.50 remains lower than the cost of life which is more than £7. This suggests that policies are ideologically goaded and take over the intent of the policies. When authoritiess do non set policies when faced with existent societal research grounds, this suggest that political orientation overrules the job at manus, for illustration poorness ( Murphy, 2014 ) .

The theoretical model of Marxism would propose that the free market favoured by Conservatives creates alienated conditions and the public assistance province really maintains the position quo where the rich continue to bring forth more wealth and remain in power, whislt the less priviledged deficiency in capital economically and socially. Marxist minds would reason that there should be no demand for a public assistance province if society was equal. Alternatively, wealth and resources should be distributed equally amongst all citizens and so the public assistance province is viewed negatively in this case ( Murphy, 2014 ) . In add-on to this Slavok commented that charities besides maintain the position quo and maintain the hapless in a place where they will ever necessitate support.

How was welfare province financed?

Impact of political and political orientation on public assistance.

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The public assistance province had a psychological impact on the people.

Definitions of societal jobs: interactionist and functionalist ; looks at facts and figures ( rationalist ) .

Besides, it was created around the atomic household and so excluded those outside of this class such as lone parents, peculiarly female parents. Feminists would reason that the foundations of the public assistance province supports a male dominated society where employment was for work forces whilst females were to remain at place. Today, the public assistance province is feminised as there are more female claimants than adult male, such as with the female lone parents seeking Job Seeker’s Allowance.

New right beliefs of the Thatcher and John Major authoritiess suggested that competition creates occupations and cutting the public assistance province disbursement would ensue in a better economic system.

Thatcher’s individuality was influenced by USA far right libertarianism where the rich should be celebrated and supported.

A instance survey of the Hoxton Social Housing shows how these were sold off for gentrification ; to drive out the hapless with new lodging developments that demanded high unaffordable rents the hapless could non afford. The Coalition authorities of today argues that the private sector keeps rent low because of the competition within the markets. Yet, this has been proven non to work and alternatively creates farther inequality and want.

The cosmopolitan recognition has hit the poorest the hardest and the weakest in society such as individual female parents. Evidence is support by groups such as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Child Poverty Action Group. The cosmopolitan recognition replaces 6 benefits for 1 that is paid monthly. The thought is to drive people to employment. This strategy has been shown to non work in countries where it has been rolled out. Besides the authorities haven’t managed to run into their mark to hold an increased figure people on to it. It appears the existent ground is to salvage money. The worst impact has been on childs with more poorness. There is farther impact on females who survive independently and can non pull off child care which is expensive whilst low rewards or unemployment or income support benefits won’t cover the cost of life.

Freedom of the markets was meant to diminish poorness but has had no impact in diminishing it, instead merely pull offing it.

The Trussell Trust – a foodbank administration suggest that there has been a rise in the usage of foodbanks late, proposing that poorness is on the addition. Morever rachitiss, a disease linked to undernourishment has made a return, besides proposing that child poorness remains a societal job as childs are non acquiring the right foods.

Today, the public assistance province is weaking compared to when it foremost began. There is no societal mobility, with increased monetary values and no rise in rewards.

Child poorness ab initio decreased so increased once more with the Labour party. It is higher now than when Blair came into power.

Robert Doar an dAmerican public assistance officer argued that benefits of the public assistance should non transcend the benefit of working. Peoples should seek for occupations and if they refuse a occupation so they should be denied aid. Besides people should work in return for assistance.

The current UK coaltion authorities attach conditions to acquiring benefits eg larning Centres and instruction.

Job Centres use trials to neglect people

Foe illustration, the conservativists rejected Heseltains findings of grounds of poorness as they didn’t want to throw money at the societal job. They could non accept that a rich state had the job of poorness. It didn’t affair as their chief purpose was to cut down the cost to the province.

Marxists argue that public assistance support inequality divisions. It has been argued by Slavoj Zizek that charities perpetuate the job of poorness instead than work out it. Charities should non be.

In decision, it is just to state that the job of poorness will stay a changeless characteristic of British society as future authoritiess try to eliminate it whilst seeking to pull off the deregulating of markets and doing cuts to welfare disbursement. Poverty had decreased when the public assistance province began in 1945, nevertheless it rose with the governements of Blair, Thatcher and the current alliance. Several efforts have been made to eliminate it ; nevertheless it would necessitate a reshift of political orientation for poorness to be taken earnestly in Britain.