Social Security Guide : The White Paper and the Beveridge Report Compared
1944-10-01 1944 1940s 20 pages subject to recurrent periods of sickness to lapse into chronic invalidity." (Para. 67). They therefore suggest that those who have been drawing sickness benefit for three years and are still sick shall transfer to invalidity benefit at a lower rate. This means...
|Institution:||MCR - The Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick|
London : The Social Security League
1 October 1944
subject to recurrent periods of sickness to lapse into chronic invalidity." (Para. 67). They therefore suggest that those who have been drawing sickness benefit for three years and are still sick shall transfer to invalidity benefit at a lower rate. This means that the married couple will drop from 40/- to 35/-, and the single person from 24/- to 20/-. Immediately we get back to the subsistence principle. On the Beveridge assumption of a 25 per cent. rise in prices over 1938, 35/- would not cover all the items listed by his technical Committee as basic essentials of expenditure. Not only has the margin vanished, but the couple who tried to maintain the Beveridge minimum standard on 35/- would find themselves half-a-crown a week in debt. Under the Government Plan those living on sickness benefit for more than three years must, if they have no other resources and if the Beveridge figures are correct, either live on their benefit and suffer loss of physical well-being, or get into debt, or apply to the Assistance Service for a supplement. There will be conflict of opinion about this last alternative. The purpose of this pamphlet is only to describe the facts. (2)— Unemployment. The duration of unemployment benefit is a tricky question. Ideally the Ministry of Labour should be so good that, given the basic essential of a high national level of unemployment, no individual would be involuntarily out of work for more than a few weeks — certainly never long enough to let his morale run down and his energy diminish. Attention must be focused on the constructive job of getting him back to work as soon as possible. But it is recognised, both by the Government and in the Report, that the placement service, however good, may not be able to place every unemployed person at once; he may lack skill, or his skill may have become obsolete. There should therefore be additional training schemes under Government auspices to re-equip the unemployed for work when necessary. Training is further discussed later. Here it is necessary only to point out that the Government and Beveridge respectively put training in different relationships to unemployment benefit. Both are agreed that benefit should not run indefinitely without constructive action to get the unemployed man back to work. Beveridge suggests paying unemployment benefit unconditionally for six months and then automatically transferring it into training benefit with the condition that the recipient should attend for training. The Government make no such condition. They propose to pay unemployment benefit for thirty weeks, and after that it stops. It is impossible to tell how this will work out. Will training centres take all volunteers, or will they be selective? Apparently the Government expect a largish residue of unemployed persons to be maintained at anytime by assistance. The Appendix by the Government Actuary assumes that out of an average of one and a half million unemployed persons, a fifth, that is 300,000 persons will be receiving assistance instead of benefit. (In 1938 there were more than 500,000 persons in receipt of unemployment assistance throughout the year). 8