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History

The Welfare State

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After the war, which highlighted that so many people were deprived and poor, the Liberal politician William Beveridge identified five issues that needed to be tackled to make a better Britain. To achieve his aims, Beveridge proposed the introduction of a welfare state.

The proposal for a welfare state - the basics

In 1942, the Liberal politician William Beveridge, who the government set the task of discovering what kind of Britain people wanted to see after the war, declared that there were five "giants on the road to reconstruction":

  1. poverty
  2. disease
  3. ignorance
  4. squalor
  5. idleness

To defeat these giants, he proposed setting up a welfare state with social security, a national health service, free education, council housing and full employment.

In the years after the war, the Labour government tried to make this vision come true.

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Back to Britain 1905 - 1951 index

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