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The Liberal Reforms to help the young were very successful in meeting the needs of the British people.
In 1906, free school meals act allowed local authorities to use taxes to provide one free, hot, nutritious meal a day for children in schools. This was successful reforms in meeting the needs of the British people because it meant even the poorest children received a free meal which improved their health and weight and allowed them to learn without the distraction of hunger.
However this was less useful because some children went without as some councils did not provide it and also during the school holidays their health and weight would drop again.
The 1907 medical inspections act provided three compulsory medical inspectors for children during their school career.
This was successful in meeting the needs of the British people because this meant that health problems were identified for free e.g. rickets, TB so they could get treatment and get better which improves overall health. However this was less successful because free treatment was not available until 1912 which meant poorer families couldn’t afford treatment so the child often went untreated.
The Liberal Reforms to help the old were fairly successful in meeting the needs of the British people. 1908 old age pensions act provided elderly over 70 with a small weekly pension if 5-7 shillings from government funds.
This was successful in meeting the needs of the British people because it made life slightly better for the old as they could contribute to the family home, so they feel like less of a burden, it also reduced the threat of the workhouse. However this was less successful because not enough for those in severe poverty and the age limit of 70 years was often far too high as many did not live to that stage, or required support earlier.
There were exemptions meaning for men, criminals, drunks and those who has been regularly unemployed were not entitled to it. This was less important because it showed the idea of the ‘deserving poor’ continued to influence politicians ideas about who should get help, so many did not benefit.
The Liberal Reforms to help the sick were partly successful in meeting the needs of the British people. In 1911 national insurance act part one insured all workers under the age of 70 who earned less than £160 a year and provided sick pay for workers if required.
This was successful reforms in meeting the needs of the British people because it contributed and gave workers security and peace of mind as it acted as a safety net if they fell sick which would prevent falling into poverty. However, this was less successful as workers were angry as they were forced to contribute money which they were not used to as it reduced their wages and potentially worsened immediate poverty. It insured workers received 10 shillings, 50p, for 26 weeks if they were ill and were entitled to treatment as a doctor.
This was successful reforms in meeting the needs of the British people because workers were more likely to seek medical help, rather than wait for the problem to get work, which improved overall health and got them back to work quicker. However, this was less important because additionally, only the workers was covered so family didn’t benefit from medical treatment and there was also no provision for hospitals.
The Liberal Reforms to help the unemployed were partly successful in meeting the needs of the British people. In 1911 the national insurance act part 2 provided some workers with unemployment benefits if they worked in certain trades like construction. They got 7 shillings for 15 weeks if they became unemployed.
This was successful reforms in meeting the needs of the British people because they gave the unemployed a small income that allowed them to get back on their feet while they looked for a job and prevented them from falling into poverty. However this was less successful reforms as only short term with 15 weeks not being long enough for everyone to find a job and did not cover all workers or those who were previously unemployed, so many were unsupported.
1909 labour exchange act created job centres where unemployed could register to find available work where employers could find sustainable workers. This was successful reforms in meeting the needs of the British people because it made it easier for workers to find out what suitable jobs were available in the area and by 1914 they were helping find 3000 jobs a day.
However, this was less successful because this only benefited some people, mainly skilled workers, as you had to be able to read and write which some could not, and also many employers didn’t advertise their jobs.
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