Ideologies of Welfare

Topics: Poverty, Unemployment, 20th century Pages: 4 (2171 words) Published: April 21, 2014
Ideologies of Welfare
For hundreds of years the health and general wellbeing of people and their families have suffered due to the difficulties that social policy and welfare provision has been continuously faced with as a result of the persistence of poverty. This essay will explain and discuss the ideologies of the major political parties, how they have influenced the development of welfare and the effects they have had on social policies and social care provisions. It will explain how these ideologies were formed and how they are relevant in present day starting with the Elizabethan Poor Law right through to the ‘Middle way’ of the late twentieth century. The Elizabethan Poor Law 1598 continued through until amended in 1834. It was the earliest form of welfare state and was based on local church parishes. This provision mainly focussed on the poor and due to the fact there was no government at this time, the parish had full control. People of each parish would pay their local tax which they called the ‘Poor Rate’, this money was then paid out to people born within that parish in two ways. The first was called ‘Outdoor Relief’ and was paid to people who remained in their own homes. As a priority, it would cover the abled bodied poor and needy who were given the poor rate payments in exchange for work carried out on behalf of the parish. This money was also given to widows who received small pensions and had smaller bills paid. This form of benefit was based on need so it was means tested. This is much like the community care payments, top-ups and grants that we receive today. The second provision was called ‘Indoor Relief’, this funded people who could not work such as the sick or elderly who were moved into institutions such as alms-houses. This benefit was much like today’s incapacity benefit or what is now known as Employment Support Allowance. The ideologies of the time were that the poor and needy should be looked after within the parish as a part of...

References: The Rowntree Society. (2013). Seebohm Rowntree and Poverty. [Available:] [Last accessed] 1st March 2014.
Society Politics. (2014). The Beverage Report. [Available:] [Last accessed] 1st March 2014.
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