Relative success of the Labour reforms

By 1948, the 'Five Giants' were under severe attack. The state was now providing a 'safety net' which protected all sections of society. After the end of the Second World War most of Britain became healthier, wealthier, better educated, and lived for longer.

When Seebohm Rowntree investigated social conditions in York in 1950, he found that primary poverty had gone down to two per cent compared to 36 per cent in 1936.

In general, although the Labour government had passed a series of measures that improved people's lives, there was still much to do in the field of social reform:

  • adequate houses, schools, and hospitals were still in short supply.
  • deprivation and poverty had been reduced but not eliminated
  • inequalities in society still existed.
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