Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!


The Liberal reforms 1906-1914

Four Results of the Liberal reforms

1. Mixed effects on people's welfare

Free school mealsBy 1914, 150,000 children were getting one good meal a day.Not compulsory - some councils did not provide free meals
PensionsKept many old people out of the workhouse.Was refused to people who had never worked during their life.
Labour exchangesBy 1914, 1 million people were being employed through the labour exchange.Most of these jobs were temporary or part-time; the government did not do anything to increase the number of jobs available.
National InsuranceA vital safety net to tide people over hard times.Poor people had to pay the contributions out of their wages; dole and sickness pay only lasted for a limited time; and 7s 6d [7s 6d: Seven shillings and six pence in old money (around 38p of today's money). ] was not enough to live on - a family of five needed £1 a week.
Free medical treatmentLiterally, a life-saver.Only for the wage-earner - it was not available to their wife or children.

2. 1909 Budget

The 1909 Budget [Budget: A plan for expected income and spending over a specified time period. ] - to pay for the reforms, Lloyd George's 1909 budget raised duties on tobacco and spirits, raised income tax by 16 per cent (from 1s to 1s 2d), and introduced a new 20 per cent tax on profits from selling land.

3. Parliament Act 1911

When the House of Lords refused to pass Lloyd George's budget, the House of Commons passed an Act stating that the House of Lords could not reject a bill that had been passed three times in the House of Commons. It also required a general election every five, not seven, years.

4. Lloyd George

Lloyd George became loved - old people cried when they got their pension and blessed 'Lloyd George' who gave them - and hated - workers who objected to paying national insurance chanted: 'Taffy was a Welshman, taffy was a thief' at him.

Back to Britain 1905 - 1975 index

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.