Comparison of Approaches in Social Welfare Provision

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Introduction

The victory of the Liberal Party by a huge scale in 1906 general elections brought new faces in the Liberal Members of Parliament’s ranks. This came about with many changes in the social welfare field (Lund 2002). The Liberals who formed the government took steps to improve the living and working conditions, and health standard of the lower class. The key areas that was concerned with people was targeted by the legislation, was on the working-class population who were being faced with the risk of poverty due to unemployment or sickness, the old aged people under pension and the children. Finlayson (1994) observed that Liberal rule effectiveness on these matters was clear because the legislation gave solution to the problems of poverty, and what was intended to achieve was successful.

The initial task that was considered by the new Liberal government was the children’s welfare. Malnourished children had surfaced increasingly because of the aid rate extension in all schools and the formation in 1902 of the local education authorizes (Fisher & Collins 1993). Therefore, it is documented that too hungry, and debilitated children ware present, and to solve it, the government introduced the 1906 Education Act (Harris 2004). The authorities of the local education were empowered to provide school food to the destitute children by levying some money.

According to Powell (1996), the Education Act in 1907 made compulsory medical inspection of the children. This was done to reduce frequent diseases outbreak. Lastly the 1908 Children Act introduced measures to deal with abuse and neglect of children and set up remand homes, and juvenile homes to separate child offenders from the prisons and courts of the adults. Lund (2002) observed that the act ensured that the children were not going without food and were not living in the streets. The events of improving the welfare of the children were successful in general (Finlayson 1994).

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The second target according to Fisher & Collins (1993) for the new Liberal government was the old age pensioner’s welfare. Because of lack of government financial backing, poverty was high. In 1908, the old age Pensions Act was introduced to provide 5s pensions per week for people aged 70 and over. Harris (2004) indicated that as much as the legislation helped in improving the social conditions and prevented extreme poverty for the pensioners, there existed much exclusion. For instance, the claimants of the poor relief the previous year, ex convicts were not entitled to the government funding. Powell (1996) pointed out that as much as the program was successful; the small amount issued was not enough for poverty prevention.

In addition to old age pension, the government tried to address the problem of earning loss due to sickness and unemployment. T.............


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