Social Security Guide : The White Paper and the Beveridge Report Compared
1944-10-01 1944 1940s 20 pages THE PLANS COMPARED 1 THEY AGREE The Government Plan shares with the Beveridge Report four major principles: — (1)— The Social Security Plan will cover every citizen in the land, rich or poor, old or young, productive or idle. No income or class dist...
|Institution:||MCR - The Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick|
London : The Social Security League
1 October 1944
THE PLANS COMPARED 1 THEY AGREE The Government Plan shares with the Beveridge Report four major principles: — (1)— The Social Security Plan will cover every citizen in the land, rich or poor, old or young, productive or idle. No income or class distinction will divide citizens one from another in this field. (At present the social insurances include only those earning less than £420 yearly except they are "employed by way of manual work." Also those working on their own account, whatever their incomes, are excluded from compulsory insurance). (2)— All the major risks of loss of earning power will be included in one single insurance. Sickness, unemployment, accident, old age, widowhood, and maternity are included. (At present these are covered by insurance, but are not in one scheme. Ever since 1908 we have been passing Acts which add a new provision or include another category of citizens, but the majority of these Acts have been passed without reference to other Acts covering similar ground, so that we now have a set of parallel provisions running side by side but never interlocking). (3)— There is a flat rate of contribution. In some countries, e.g., America and Canada and most European countries, contributions are graded according to earnings. In New Zealand, where the whole community is insured, contributions are fixed at a percentage of all incomes, earned or unearned. In Great Britain contributions are traditionally paid at a flat rate, whatever the contributor income may be. (4)— There is a flat rate of benefit. This will be paid as a right to all who qualify. The millionaire will be entitled to draw the same benefit as the labourer. Sir William Beveridge discussed this principle at length. It is in line with the British tradition. However there is one problem. Rents throughout the country are uneven. A sum which will cover the rent for a family in, say, Lincolnshire, will by no means be enough for the same family's rent if it moves to London. Even though every family were to live in the cheapest accommodation available, some families would have to pay more rent than other families of the same size. It would be no use a toolmaker going to live in the Highlands of Scotland where the rents are low; his occupation obliges him to live in industrial areas where the rents are high. Sir William Beveridge illustrated this dilemma by showing that an allowance of 10/- weekly for rent, if included in the benefit sum, would be from 2/6 to 7/6 too much for one-third of the Scottish households, and from 2/6 to 10/- too little for half the London households. Even so, Sir William decided eventually in favour of the traditional British flat rate benefit, though he qualified his decision by describing 3