The Welfare State

1661 words 7 pages
HISTORY OF THE WELFARE STATE: The role and significance of the Beveridge Report in establishing the Welfare State in Britain.

The purpose of this essay is to look at the long history of the Welfare State in Britain and the evolving social, economic and political changes in society today, as well as the birth of the Welfare State after the Second World War which was the turning point (watershed) in British History. The freshly appointed Labour government by then took on the job of setting up a ‘welfare state’ that would systematically deal with the ‘five giant evils’ proposed by William Beveridge in a report, which later became known as the Beveridge report. The British welfare state, if it is to be defined, it is generally incorporated
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Occupant of these houses don’t care to keep these houses clean because it cost them nothing, this giant is called Squalor, it is still with us today. The last giant was referred to as Idleness, this was due to the hangover from depressions from the time of unemployment, today some people have chosen to stay idle, because the state will feed and house them. As much as the welfare state is good, the Victorian ‘workhouses’ would have been helpful in dealing with idleness in society, because one would need to work at the workhouse in order to get help from the state.

The Beveridge report was an important document because it set out detailed policies for the attack needed to destroy the five giant evils, though the five giant evils were not destroyed completely, however, the Beveridge report left a legacy, the NHS and now there is nothing like absolute poverty in Britain as compare to the years before the Second World War when people use to actually sleep in slum, therefore the Beveridge report was a blueprint on which the welfare state was emerged because it helped shape Britain’s social policies.(Naidoo and Wills, 2008).

The publication of the Beveridge report was a great success. Majority of the British public welcomed the report’s finding and wished to see them implemented as quickly as possible according to an opinion poll (national archives, 2003). This shows the extent to which the population had shifted to the left


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