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The Welfare State of the United Kingdom - Essay Example

4 pages
955 words
Harvey Mudd College
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The national welfare state of the United Kingdom was formulated as a liberal welfare state that encompassed expenditures by the government to improve the health, social security, education and employment of its citizens. It was created shortly after the Second World War. Even though the country had emerged out of the war as one of the few victors, it was nonetheless hard hit with the consequences of the war. Therefore, there arose a unique need to create a new and just society where welfare legislation could have bipartisan approach since the people needed to rebuild a better Britain. Consequently, this paper has been written to address the factors that led to the development of the welfare state.

The first factor that led to the development of the welfare state was to address the extensive reconstruction that was needed by the country together with laying down plans and their implementation during the war. Therefore, national insurance policy along with domestic health services was going to be influential factors of concern in the establishment of the welfare state. In regards to the reconstruction of the economy, Beverage identified the five giants that Winston Churchill had identified as the saboteurs of the road to restoration. They identified poverty, disease, squalor, idleness, and disease (Levine-Clark and Marjorie, 2015). Beverage thought that these giants could only be fought with a state-run insurance system that was not similar to the previous insurance systems in that they were not meant to punish the sick or disabled for their inability to work. Furthermore, he saw a prosperous economy with social security, free education for all kids, full employment and national health services.

It was also thought that it would be prudent to require that the working class pay a sum to the government as long as they worked. The unfortunate, disabled and unemployed would, in turn, get access to government aid. There was, therefore, the need for universality of a welfare system that was not only efficient but also comprehensive. The previous policies had failed in some situations because they targeted manual workers and had been very uneven in their coverage. Therefore, some inconsistencies needed to be addressed in the system. Accordingly, the new policies are necessary to guarantee the individual members that they were protected against the risks against their income and a range of other services. Freedom from poverty had always been a privilege of the rich, but a need was arising to avail it to the minority poor too. Therefore, freedom from debt was becoming a right for all and everyone had to feel that he or she was acknowledged and accepted into the society.

The other factor that led to the development of the welfare state was the deteriorating economy. Highly ranked men such as Seebohm Rownntree and Charles Booth had begun to speculate that poverty level was on the increase. Moreover, they also reported that there were huge numbers of people living below the poverty line within the massively industrialized cities. The United Kingdom having emerged victorious in the just concluded Second World War undoubtedly had to do something to reduce the poverty index. Consequently, there was a need to develop the welfare of the poor. Therefore, a minimum wage was introduced for some low wage industries and then expanded to the numerous industries available in the country.

The other factor that led to the development of the welfare state was the need for an administrative drive for then greater standardization of the services that wartime evacuation had just exposed as extraordinarily uneven and biased. Moreover, there was also the desire to establish a minimum stared of living for the citizens (Scase, 2016).

The last factor that led to the development of the welfare state was the need to come up with a technocratic determination that would help the country attains efficiency in the use of its resources. Furthermore, Keynes had just postulated that a free market would not be capable of achieving full-time employment. Therefore, there was a need to make good use of the economic resources that were available since it was now clear that resources had priory been wasted especially in the 1930s. Other economists had successfully convinced them that in the increasingly complex world, services could best be provided collectively than through the market Beland (Beland, Daniel and Alex Waddan ,2014).

The demand for higher equality was perhaps the most significant factor that led to the development of the welfare state. This was because the majority of the people thought that it was now necessary to enforce greater equality for the status of treatment by the state for the citizen whether rich or poor. This factor not only required there being positive discrimination but also in favor of the least well- off, as was attempted with the creation of Education Priority Areas in the 1960s, but also a significant redistribution of income and wealth - and ultimately political power (Calder, Gideon and Jeremy Gass ,2012).

Evidently, the welfare state of the United Kingdom was driven by the five factors that have been mentioned above. Apparently, the primary factor was that it was brought about to bring about a just treatment between the population whether they were rich or poor. Therefore, the primary objective of the welfare pact was to bring equality among the natives.

Works cited

Beland, Daniel, and Alex Waddan. "Conservatives, partisan dynamics and the politics of universality: reforming universal social programmes in the UK and Canada." Journal of Poverty and Social Justice 22#2 (2014): 8397.

Calder, Gideon, and Jeremy Gass. Changing Directions of the British Welfare State (University

of Wales Press, 2012).Levine-Clark, Marjorie. Unemployment, Welfare, and Masculine Citizenship: So Much Honest Poverty in Britain, 18701930 (Springer, 2015).

Scase, R., 2016. Social democracy in capitalist society: working-class politics in Britain and Sweden. Routledge.

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