Social Security : The Story of British Social Progress and the Beveridge Plan
1943 1943 1940s 3 preliminary leaves, 9-62 pages : illustrations, diagrams circumstances, secure a State income up to about 40s. a week if they really need it. They are, however, up against the means test, which, even in the mild form in which it is now administered by the Assistance Board, is still...
|Institution:||MCR - The Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick|
London : G.G. Harrap and Co.
3 preliminary leaves, 9-62 pages : illustrations, diagrams
circumstances, secure a State income up to about 40s. a week if they really need it. They are, however, up against the means test, which, even in the mild form in which it is now administered by the Assistance Board, is still disliked and feared. Some, who might now qualify for a supplement, still refuse to apply. Others, with savings or help from their families, can and do subsist on their basic pensions of 10s. (or 20s. joint). The general demand is, however, for a more generous basic insurance pension — even up to double the present rate. This and the related question of retirement are further discussed below (Chapter V). (d) The Marriage Needs of a Woman. Whether or not a girl needs a marriage dowry from the State may be open to question. The Beveridge Plan proposes to give £10 (but only to women who have been regular insured wage-earners) at the rate of £1 for every 40 contributions. What is certain is that women need better provision for maternity. On the cash side National Health Insurance now furnishes a lump sum of 40s. on confinement, to a woman with 42 contributions to her credit. This sum is insufficient ; it should be increased and extended to all married women. But what of the woman who continues to work and earn after marriage? Does not she deserve a maternity cash benefit, comparable to sick benefit, payable for two or three months covering the birth of her child? We want to make it easy and attractive for her to give up employment in good time and not return too soon to the factory. On the health side we need a wide extension of the best maternity and midwifery services, including more maternity wards in hospitals. Children are a more precious asset than ever in these days in face of our dwindling birth-rate. During marriage a woman should still be regarded as an insured person by virtue of her husband's contribu- 24