Q What Were The Reasons For The Establishment Of The Uab?

472 words - 2 pages

Reasons for the Establishment of the Unemployment Assistance BoardIn 1932 Long term mass unemployment peaked in Britain with a rate of 10.6% of the workforce (crafts: 1991,p.78). Those few not covered by the 1911 contributory National Insurance Act could claim benefit up to sixmonths until their payments had been exhausted. The poor law was the only benefit option left for those whohad consumed their entitlement or who had not previously contributed to the National Insurancescheme (George: 1973, p.20).The poor law was ill-favoured as it deliberately casted a negative ...view middle of the document...

The law's inadequacies triggered civil unrest provoking demonstrations,hunger marches and pressure groups (Black: 2000, p.37). With the recent Russian revolution in mind, the governmentmust have been fearful of a British revolt.The long term levels of high unemployment forced the govenment to change their belief that the economy wasself-rectifying and that job security was the responsibility of the individual. This change of attitude combinedwith civil pressures forced the government to take charge of the relief of the unemployed, regardless of NationalInsurance, by establishing the Unemployment Assistance Board in 1934. The poor law's execution wastransferred to the centrally governed UAB who took on the administration of benefit to the long-term unemployed.The UAB was given the power to decide, via a means test, who would receive the benefit and to how much they wereentitled (Gazeley: 2003, p.127).During the 1930's mass unemployment endured far longer than first anticipated by the 1911 National Insurance Act,resulting in huge numbers of civilians falling back on the poor law. The stigma attached to the poor law and civil unrestcombined with a change in government attitude towards the unemployed were all political factors in the establishmentof the UAB.

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