Liberal Government’s welfare “measures” between 1906 and 1912


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The significant shift from the previous Laissez Faire policy to direct government involvement in the livelihoods of society’s vulnerable is often attributed to the Liberal reforms of 1906-1912. Welfare benefits began to be offered as a right eliminating to some degree, the Poor Law’s moral aspect (Fraser 2003, p. 21). The main source of these benefits was from general taxation. The administration also altered the market economy laws by establishing minimum wage levels and putting in place Labor exchanges in certain industries. The liberal reforms targeted assisting people who through no fault of their own faced poverty. These vulnerable groups included children, the elderly, the unemployed and the sick. Churchill and Lloyd George were the key reform ministers of the time (Page 1996, p. 43).