The Welfare State
A welfare State in the United Kingdom refers to a government system that enables the government to promote and safeguard the social and economic well-being of all its citizens (Myglyw.org.uk 2015, p.1). The origin of the Welfare State was incidences that took place in war. After the War, this indicated that several people were underprivileged and poor, William Beveridge who was the Liberal Politician identified five issues that were to be addressed for instance ignorance, poverty, diseases, squalor, and idleness in order to make Britain a better place. To accomplish his objectives, Beveridge suggested the introduction of a Welfare State. The payments to the Welfare State depended on the National Insurance Act of 1946 that described the organization for a welfare State. Based on the Act, employers, workers, and the government paid for the insurance that was used to cater for those who had retired. It also gave payments for funerals, maternity leave, and widow’s pensions. The health service of the Welfare State was financed by general taxes, and the contributions of national insurance coffers. Studies indicate that middle class professionals pay more than £200,000 towards the Welfare bill of Britain for the working class.
The mission of NHS and Welfare State was to see to it that they address the five giant evils that individuals faced and they included poverty, disease, ignorance, squalor, and idleness (Cooper 2014, p.1). These issues were collectively addressed under the public health.
NHS is an abbreviation for the National Health Service, which offers healthcare for the citizens of the United Kingdom depending on their healthcare needs rather than their capability to pay for it. It was initiated in 1948. It was introduced after a long-held ideal that every citizen was to access good health irrespective of wealth. With the exclusion of some charges like dental services, optical, and prescriptions, NHS offers its services at a free cost to any person who is a resident of the United Kingdom. The NHS in England offers services to more than 1 million patients every 36 hours. It caters for everything from antenatal and routine screenings to emergency treatments, transplants, and end-of-life care.
The Beveridge Report
This report was written by Sir. William Beveridge. It had a summary of the required principles to abolish poverty and want from Britain. It further suggested a system of social security which would be managed by the state and be executed at war’s end. It was majorly published to give a description of the economic condition and his vision for giving rates benefits and how they would be managed (Nationalarchives.gov.uk 2015, p.1).
The Bevan report was a plan prepared by Bevan to nationalize and regionalize the National Health Service. He suggested a tripartite system of administration in all local and public health authorities, independent –contractor services and hospitals, including pharmacists, dentist, and ophthalmologists. According to Bevan, the regionalization of hospitals would enhance uniform and efficient services (Nationalarchives.gov.uk 2015, p.1). The five giant evils of the welfare state were: ignorance, poverty, diseases, squalor, and idleness.
The Second World War had various impacts to the United Kingdom. Even though it would have led to the destruction of the British society and the whole political exisistence, it changed the country into something new (Bbc.co.uk 2015, p.1). The war experience changed the perception of people towards their state and its support in their lives.
Life before the introduction of the Welfare State had various economic challenges for instance, high rates of poverty, illiteracy and ignorance among others. The Welfare State has contributed to various adjustments for instance the welfare benefits in the United Kingdom include health care, cash benefits, education, housing, and personal benefits (Nationalarchives.gov.uk 2015, p.1). The second important part that the health system of the U.K focuses on is health care. This is accomplished through the National Health Service (NHS) and it is funded through taxes. Furthermore, all school going children aged between five to sixteen years. Furthermore, the welfare system also provides housing to its citizens.
The Welfare State in the United Kingdom is still doing its job and it is still fit for its purpose. This is based on the fact that benefit spending leads the budget of the United Kingdom annually (Pitt.edu 2015, p. 1). There are various reasons that explain why the Welfare State was formed for instance; it aimed at providing health care, education, housing, and pension among other benefits to the underprivileged in the society. Right now the country still provides these services to its citizens despite the fact that it is facing various financial challenges. The National Health Services was initiated with an aim of offering universal access to healthcare when required. This policy has played a vital role in preventing diseases and highly improving the health of the population. A number of citizens have also been in a position to access education and gain knowledge irrespective of their social privilege and class.
The Welfare State is not set to fail this is because in spite of all challenges that the state is going through, it still holds that it must provide services to the citizens as stipulated in the Act. This explains why they are reluctant to accept reform in the National Health Service because some of its citizens are not set to benefit (Nhshistory.net 2015, p.1). I think the Welfare State is being put in a position for it to be difficult to succeed (Paul 2015, p.1). This is because most of the reforms of the welfare state are being replaced by conditional entitlements. The present reforms to the welfare system are different with the main objective why the Welfare State was established. This significantly facilitates the need for having a relationship between the political activism of numerous social groups concerning the denial of human health. They include the activism of the disabled concerning the present welfare reforms, the activism against low income earners concerning their living age. All these claims are aimed at making sure that the welfare State does not success. Proponents of welfare reform argue that welfare expenditure leads the government budget and therefore, there is need to reduce expenses.
In conclusion, the Welfare State has played a significant role in improving the social and economic well being of the citizens of the United Kingdom. Even though several reforms have been suggested, they have to be reviewed to ensure that the underprivileged in the society do not suffer. For instance, every individual has a right to good health, education among others. It is therefore the responsibility of the United Kingdom to ensure that its citizens are not deprived of these rights.
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