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Let the welfare of the people be the ultimate law. Cicero, De Legibus
Most women are one man away from welfare. Gloria Steinem
And so the people’s hopes for a better peace fixed themselves on Sir William Beveridge who had been commissioned by the government to draw up plans for a welfare state. The World at War: Home Fires 15/26, ITV 1974
The wartime mood of shared suffering, of making do, inspired the radical notion of a welfare state – where every citizen would be looked after from cradle to grave. At the very height of the Blitz the economist William Beveridge was asked to work out how this might be delivered. The famous Beveridge Report of 1942 came up with a whole host of ideas about how Britain might emerge from the war into the sunlit uplands of a better society. Among the many recommendations it made was a key one – that there should be free medical support for everyone. One of the Jewels in the Crown. The National Health Service. David Dimbleby, Seven Ages of Britain: Age of Ambition, BBC 2010
Social Insurance and Allied Services: Report by Sir William Beveridge. He produced a government report infused with Victorian morality, proposing a social security scheme to combat want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness. The plan was controversial. Great Thinkers: In Their Own Words, BBC 2011
End Welfare as we know it. Bill Clinton, 1992
[US] domestic policy ... has focused on creating a massive welfare state for corporations even as the minimal welfare state benefiting the majority of the people was dismantled. Lawrence Shoup
Its remarkable system of welfare benefits ... A particularly lavish welfare state. This World: Quell Catastrophe! France with Robert Peston, BBC 2015
Homes like these became part of a landscape of ASBOs and crack-dens that helped sound the death knell on social housing. The hey-day’s legacy is one of failure. Michael Collins, The Great Estate: The Rise & Fall of the Council Estate, BBC 2012
Lord Salisbury proposed a Royal Commission for the housing of the working classes. The impetus for the first in a series of housing acts that signalled dramatic change. ibid.
Letchworth: The world’s first garden city. The brainchild of social reformer Ebenezer Howard, Letchworth was a privately-funded project. Its cottages were the vision of a sandal-wearing socialist called Raymond Unwin – the founding father of the British council house. ibid.
Unwin’s garden cottages became the prototype for Lloyd George’s homes for heroes including those on the biggest housing estate in the world: Becontree, Essex. ibid.
It was this man – Lancelot Keay – who introduced the modern flat into the lexicon of council housing. ibid.
Government subsidies were available for the building of flats on sites where slums had been raised to the ground. The epic scale of the estates that emerged astonished contemporaries and enthralled their new inhabitants. ibid.
In 1945 following a Labour landslide the minister for health Nye Bevan oversaw the creation of a welfare state in which public housing would be as universal as health and education. ibid.
In 1946 Stevenage became the first of the nation’s designated new towns built to relieve an inner-city population problem. ibid.
The Parker-Morris Report: Homes for today and tomorrow. ibid.
The street in the sky ... Lifts took homes higher than ever; new factory-style building methods produced flats quickly and inexpensively. And government subsidies were offered for high density developments; the taller the tower the higher the handout. ibid.
Eleven years in which the high-rise experiment had collapsed. The decline began when many of the rapidly built tower blocks that shot up from the 1950s were exposed as cheap and shoddy. By 1967 the government had withdrawn its subsidy for tower blocks. ibid.
When Margaret Thatcher swept to power in 1979 the building of council estates came to an abrupt halt. In 1980 she introduced a right to buy scheme. ibid.
It was that sense of permanence that gave so many British people ... a reason to have an investment in their homes, in their estates, in their neighbourhoods. ibid.
It’s not my fault that I’m like this. Benefits: Too Fat to Work, young man, Channel 5 2015
I did work so why not? ibid. fattie
They get around two grand a month in handouts. ibid. commentary
All the rats need feeding. ibid. 41-year-old Rachael
Rachael believes the bypass is the only option to get her weight down. ibid.
Benefits wedding. ibid.
Super-size disability benefits. ibid.
She hasn’t had a job for more than twenty years. ibid.
Meet the Kerrigans. Three generations of a family who all live within a stone’s throw of each other. They’ve got strong opinions. They say it how it is. And they don’t care what anyone thinks. My Big Benefits Family, Channel 5 2015
The family that claims together stays together. ibid.
Meet the mums who are bringing up babies on the dole. Benefits: 19 Kids and Counting, Channel 5 2015
The government is cracking down on benefit claims – one and a half million payments are being affected. Ministers say it’s tough love. But others say it’s tough luck. Dispatches: Britain's Benefits Crackdown, Channel 4 2015
Supporters of sanctions say they make welfare fairer. So who benefits from Britain’s benefits crackdown? ibid.
Over twelve months more than half a million people were sanctioned. ibid.
The DWP has investigated forty-nine deaths. ibid.
‘This is our contract with the British people – to bring an end to the something for nothing culture.’ ibid. Ian Duncan Smith
Two and a half million people are on disability benefit. It costs us £13,000,000,000 a year. Now Channel 4 Dispatches has uncovered evidence that a tough regime of tests is secretly trying to push almost 90% of these claimants off the sick to look for work. Dispatches: Britain on the Sick, Channel 4 2012
The head of the mental health charity MIND stepped down from the official scrutiny panel calling the system inhumane. ibid.
It was Labour who first hired Atos. ibid.
Even losing a whole arm is not considered enough to quality for significant disability points. ibid.
The Atos assessors have targets for the number of people taken off benefit. ibid.
Welfare became a term of opprobrium – a contentious, often vindictive area of political conflict in which liberals and conservatives clashed and children were lost sight of. Daniel P Moynihan, cited The Washington Post 25th November 1994
Welfare’s purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence. Ronald Reagan, interview Los Angeles Times
Strive constantly to serve the welfare of the world; by devotion to selfless work one attains the supreme goal of life. Do your work with the welfare of others always in mind. Bhagavad Gita
Welfare began as a lifeline. But for too many it’s become a way of life. David Cameron, September 2011
The Cycle of Dependency – we are determined to break it. David Cameron
In 1964 a Labour government had been elected. They came to power promising to create a modern prosperous Britain. But almost immediately they were faced with a crisis: the boom the Tories had begun five years before had gone out of control. British industry simply couldn’t cope with the demand created by the boom. A new government faced growing inflation and a balance of payments crisis. They had to cancel many of their election promises and cut spending. Adam Curtis, The Mayfair Set II: Entrepreneur Spelt S.P.I.V ***** BBC 1999