The Beveridge Report

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The Beveridge Report In December 1942 the British government published the report on social insurance and allied services. This watershed publication was better known as the Beveridge Report- named after its author the journalist, academic and government adviser William Beverigde and would shape British government and social policy for the rest of the century. The report directed government towards the goals of fighting ‘the five giant evils’ of want disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness. In return for weekly contribution, the British people would be guaranteed a minimum standard of living in times of sickness, unemployment or retirement. In brief the Beveridge Report outlined the construction of the modern welfare state. The Second World War witnessed an acceleration of many trends evident in British politics and society before 1939. The war further stimulated new industries as well as reviving the old ones, and led to widespread recognition of social problems such as poverty and unemployment. The Beveridge Report, presented to Parliament and published in December 1942, contained goals far more meaningful to the average Briton than the generalities of the Atlantic Charter. It was a radical report. From the outset Beveridge (1942) insisted that war provided an opportunity to make good: The notion of the welfare state refers to the state's provision of public measures and support to achieve basic living standards and help those in need across society. Ideally, the welfare state aims to alleviate poverty, reduce inequality, and accomplish greater social integration and solidarity. Beveridge recommended the establishment of a National Health Service, national insurance and assistance, family allowances, and stressed the importance of full-employment. The Beveridge Report of 1942 proposed a system of National Insurance, based on three 'assumptions' – family allowances, a National Health Service, and full employment. This became a major propaganda weapon, with both major parties committed to its introduction. During the war, the coalition government also committed itself to full employment through Keynesian
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