Critically Discuss The View That 'universal Welfare Provision Can Only Ever Be Wasteful And Lead To Welfare Dependency'. Give Examples To Illustrate Your Points.

2091 words - 8 pages

Key Concepts in Social PolicySXP1004Critically discuss the view that 'Universal Welfare provision can only ever be wasteful and lead to welfare dependency'. Give examples to illustrate your points.For this assignment, in the hope of covering the above statement the writer will discuss what the word welfare means and how we came about in the 1940's to implement a modern welfare system. Also, the writer will look how the effects of the thatcher government have changed the welfare system and made the state more dependable on welfare provision than had previously been seen under previous governments.So what is Welfare and how did it come about?The word 'Welfare' basically means 'Well-being' and is also defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as 'Health, Happiness and Prosperity'. Welfare also refers to the range of services which are provided by the government and charity organisations to help people through times of poverty, sickness, childhood and old age.Welfare Provision in Britain has it's roots in the old poor laws which were first introduced in 1598 to help combat the effects of poverty and continued right up until 1920's. The first of these laws to lay down any guide lines was the poor laws of 1601. These introduced a compulsory poor rate, brought about the creation of 'overseers' of relief and set up provisions for introducing the poor to work (www.2.rgu.ac.uk/). They also made the local parish's the basic unit of administration, but they failed to set up a mechanism through which this could be enforced. The result being that the poor laws operation was inconsistent between different areas.During the 18th and 19th centuries industrialisation expanded quickly and this was to become known as the industrial revolution. It led to development of towns, rapid population growth and the first real examples of unemployment, all of which resulted in the increase in poor relief rates. In 1834 the poor law commission act was passed which emphasised that there should be less eligibility for paupers than workers with regards to relief. They stated that there should be no outdoor relief given to the very poor, instead if they needed help they would have to enter the workhouses, which were much hated during the 19th century. These workhouses conditions were very servere, the idea being that people would rather seek work than enter them (EH.net). In the early 20th century, government tried to move away from the poor laws, by introducing such schemes as national insurance, means tests and health care provisions. It was not really until the Liberal Government came into power in the early twentieth Century that the need for better provisions was addressed from a more moral stand point. They introduced such things as Unemployment insurance and Health insurance and tried to abolish the Old poor law systems in the hope of providing better provisions, but it was not until 1928 that the poor laws ended and were replaced by The local Government Act of 1928, which...

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