Key Concepts in Social Policy
Critically discuss the view that 'Universal Welfare provision can only ever be wasteful and lead to welfare dependency'. Give examples to illustrate your points.
For this assignment, in the hope of covering the above statement the writer will discuss what the word welfare means and how we came about in the 1940's to implement a modern welfare system. Also, the writer will look how the effects of the thatcher government have changed the welfare system and made the state more dependable on welfare provision than had previously been seen under previous governments.
So what is Welfare and how did it come about?
The word 'Welfare' basically means 'Well-being' and is also defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as 'Health, Happiness and Prosperity'. Welfare also refers to the range of services which are provided by the government and charity organisations to help people through times of poverty, sickness, childhood and old age.
Welfare Provision in Britain has it's roots in the old poor laws which were first introduced in 1598 to help combat the effects of poverty and continued right up until 1920's. The first of these laws to lay down any guide lines was the poor laws of 1601. These introduced a compulsory poor rate, brought about the creation of 'overseers' of relief and set up provisions for introducing the poor to work (www.2.rgu.ac.uk/). They also made the local parish's the basic unit of administration, but they failed to set up a mechanism through which this could be enforced. The result being that the poor laws operation was inconsistent between different areas.
During the 18th and 19th centuries industrialisation expanded quickly and this was to become known as the industrial revolution. It led to development of towns, rapid population growth and the first real...