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Welfare State - Referat

Welfare State - Vortrag

1. General and Etymology
2. History
3. United Kingdom as a welfare state
4. Class Discussion
5. Connection to “An inspector calls”
6. Sources

1. General - What is a “Welfare State”?
- A system by which the government of a country provides a range of free services to people who need them
→ e.g.: medical care, money for people without work, care for old people, etc.

Etymology (= Origin and history of words and their meaning)
- United Kingdom: during 2nd World War probably coined by Archbishop William Temple
- Other countries: equivalent terms with the same meaning

2. History
- Early version of the welfare state: China in the 11th century
→ State was responsible for providing its citizens the necessary measures for a minimum living standard
- 19th /20th century: modern welfare states developed
→ was different to the previous schemes
- Welfare state = combination of democracy, welfare and capitalism
- Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand → early welfare states
- After the poverty of the Great Depression “cradle-to-grave” services became reality
- Today: provision of cash-welfare benefits (old-age pensions or unemployed benefits) and in-kind welfare services (health or childcare services)

3. United Kingdom as a welfare state
- After 2nd World War: government was convinced that the policy of the pre-war period should not exist anymore → new plan: social compensation
- 1941: Sir William Beveridge (1879-1963) was made responsible to draw up a plan how Britain should be rebuilt
- 1942: report was published → “Beveridge Report”, “Social Insurance and Allied Services”
- He identified “The Fife Giants”: want, disease, ignorance, squalor, idleness
→ Aim: wanted to sort them out
- A system of social insurance from “the cradle to the grave”
→ Social assistance, family allowances, full employment, etc.
- Classic period: 1945-1970s
- Since 1980s: British government begun to reduce some provisions
→ e.g.: free eye tests for all have been stopped; prescription drugs have
constantly risen
- Welfare state is committed to:
o Health care, social services: Department of Health (DH)
→ Helps to improve the health and well-being
→ Provides health services to the general public through NHS
‣ National
Health Service (NHS):
 Founded in 1948
 Funded by taxpayer and managed by DH  increasing taxation

o Housing, urban policy, local government: Department for Communities and Local Government
→ Offers a safe, healthy and sustainable environment for all
→ Everyone should have the opportunity of a decent home at a price they can pay, where they want to live and work

o Education: Department for Education and Skills (DfES)
→ Area of responsibility: schools, adult learning, child welfare
→ Free elementary education (1870), free secondary education (1944)

o Employment, National Insurance, Social Assistance: Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
→ Helps people to achieve their potential through employment for being able to care for their children and to work and save for secure retirement
→ Helps people into work and supports those who cannot work

4. Class Discussion - arguments for and against



5. Connection to “An inspector calls”
- Mrs. Birling worked at Brumley Women’s Charity Organisation (p.59 l. 14-16)
- Eva Smith came there to ask for help due to her pregnancy (p.61 l. 3-4) and got sent away (p.62 l. 1-6)
- Before welfare state was established, poor people (like Eva) depended totally on charity organisations and the personal opinions of the committee (help was not guaranteed)

6. Sources
- Book “An Inspector Calls”
- http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Beveridge
- Book “OXFORD - Guide to British and American Culture”
- Book “OXFORD - Advanced Learner’s Dictionary”
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welfare_State
- http://www.ibrp.org/img/full/0041.jpg
- http://www.erziehung.uni-giessen.de/studis/Robert/ENGLAND.HTML
- http://www2.rgu.ac.uk/publicpolicy/introduction/wstate.htm

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