Social Security Guide : The White Paper and the Beveridge Report Compared
1944-10-01 1944 1940s 20 pages it as a "provisional view" and suggested that other more flexible solutions be explored. The Government ignore the rent question which is not once mentioned in the White Paper. 2. THEY DISAGREE This brings us at once to the fundamental difference bet...
|Institution:||MCR - The Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick|
London : The Social Security League
1 October 1944
it as a "provisional view" and suggested that other more flexible solutions be explored. The Government ignore the rent question which is not once mentioned in the White Paper. 2. THEY DISAGREE This brings us at once to the fundamental difference between the White Paper and the Beveridge Report. Sir William Beveridge based his plan on the principle that insurance benefit should be enough to give Freedom from Want: — "The flat rate of benefit proposed is intended in itself to be sufficient without further resources to provide the minimum income needed for subsistence in all normal cases." (Para. 307). The whole structure of the scheme was founded on the idea that gradually insurance would embrace us all in almost all our relevant dilemmas. For those who fell through the net of insurance there was to be an Assistance Service in the background. Assistance Assistance is payment according to needs. Insurance is payment "as of right" irrespective of needs. Qualification for assistance is proof of need. Qualification for insurance is the prepayment of contributions, plus proof that the basic condition for receipt of benefit also exists (sickness, unemployment, old age, pregnancy, etc.). Sir William Beveridge founded his scheme on insurance. Assistance was to be important only, in the early years of transition from the present schemes. After that it would gradually dwindle until it catered only for the the few persons who, for an assortment of individual reasons, fell through the net. The Government scheme however keeps assistance permanently in the scheme. The figures of the two plans show the difference clearly: — NATIONAL ASSISTANCE Estimated Expenditure: 1945-1965 (in £ millions) 1945 1955 1965 Government 69 73 70 Beveridge 47 41 32 This Table is compiled from White Paper, Table IV, page 49, and Beveridge Report, Table page 199. As the discussion on rent showed, Beveridge was opposed to any flexibility of benefit. But he balanced his inflexibility by ascertaining that the benefits would be paid at a real subsistence rate (except for the rent problem which he thought should be tackled from the housing angle, not from that of social security). The Government have decided on rates that will often be insufficient for full subsistence. They have therefore been obliged to provide an element of flexibility so that those who, though on benefit, still suffer want, can have their needs met. Supplementation of benefit will be one of the functions of National Assistance. It will also supplement the reduced benefit of those with deficient contribution records, will maintain those unemployed persons who have run out of benefit. 4