The Welfare State
A minister in Churchill’s War Cabinet had responsibility for reconstruction problems. He appointed, in June, 1941, an Interdepartmental Committee on Social Insurance and Allied Services, headed by Sir William Beveridge. In November, 1942, Beveridge presented a report based upon the work of the Committee. It concluded that “in a system of social security better on the whole than can be found in almost any other country there are serious deficiencies which call for remedy.” Beveridge argued that “the purpose of victory is to live into a better world than the old world,”1 and that the provision of security against want, of medical care, and of employment for all citizens should become the central purpose of government economic policy. The report offered in some detail a plan for social insurance, which received a warm popular reception and was accepted by both the Conservative and Labour Parties as a central plank of postwar policy. The main points of his proposal are presented in the following excerpts from the report.
KeywordsSocial Security National Health Service Unemployment Benefit National Assistance Unemployment Insurance
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- 1.Sir William Beveridge, Social Insurance and Allied Services (Cd. 6404) (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1942), pp. 6 and 171.Google Scholar
- Sir William Beveridge, Social Insurance and Allied Services (Cd. 6404) (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1942), pp. 5–20 and 153–172, with deletions.Google Scholar