The Spirit Of The Workhouse Is Alive And Well In Tory Britain

the void

London-WorkhouseAs the Government pushes through increasingly savage cuts to social security, it has been ideology along with cost cutting that been at the heart of welfare reform.  And that ideology is based on the very same Victorian principles which underpinned the brutal and hated system of workhouses for the destitute.

In the early 1800s unemployment soared as 400,000 demobbed soldiers returned home from the Napoleonic Wars.  This led to increased spending on the patchy system of welfare made up of workhouses and ‘outdoor relief’ – goods or money distributed to the poor – which had existed funded by local taxation since the late 1500s.  Spending on welfare was out of control, and tough new measures were required.

In 1834 Parliament introduced the Poor Law Amendment Act which along with abolishing outdoor relief  created a new, vicious regime in the workhouse.  A belief had emerged that a feckless underclass were responsible…

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One Comment

  1. Posted July 30, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink | Reply

    Reblogged this on this 'n that.

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  1. […] The Spirit Of The Workhouse Is Alive And Well In Tory Britain […]

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