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Social policy aims at responding to social issues. This policy touches all aspects of an individual’s life, and is very important in an economy of a country. The welfare of a country is the wellbeing of the population of the country (Mullard & Spicker, 1998).
Labour government (1945-1951)
The labor government lasted between 1945 and 51. This party was much focused since it saw nationalization of the bank of England, establishment of various industries, railroads, coal mining and other public utilities. This was a welfare state where free health care, old age pension, free education, employment benefits and sickness benefits were established. The national insurance act in 1946 was a legislation that was very important during this period, where those individuals in work paid national insurance with flat rate. This legislation also enabled people to get flat rate pensions, sickness benefits, funeral benefits and unemployment benefits. There was also free education for the citizens. Attlee achieved the maintenance of near full employment during this period. He was able to control allocation of manpower and resources. During this time however, the government was not successful in housing even though it had plans of building400, 000 houses very year since houses had been destroyed during war. This was not achieved because there was scarcity of manpower and resources. In 1948, there was the National Assistance Act to support health and unemployment local responsibility for welfare was separated from social security national responsibility. National Health Service was created alongside local authority social service provisions.
Winston Churchill led between 1951 and 1955, during the period when post war order was formed. During Malaya Emergency, Churchill implemented hearts and mind campaign that saw the establishment of fortified village. Between the periods of 1955-1957 when Sir Anthony Eden ruled, much focus was laid on foreign policy. It was during this period when there was the Suez Crisis, which is seen as a mark of the end of Britain as a world power. There were no reforms on housing and welfare policies. Between 1957 and 1963, Harold Macmillan got into power. His major concern was the economy of the country. By doing this, he was able to increase employments. He supported establishment of national incomes commission to control income. Additionally, he controlled the foreign policies. Mental health act established community based services for mental ill people and long hospital stays were closed down in 1959. In 1961, there was the imposition of a wage freeze due to the balance of payments. During this period, there was no focus on the social housing in UK. Under Sir Alec Douglas-Home between 1963 and 1964, there were no housing and welfare policies in the government.
Labour Government (1964-70)
Labor government got into power again between 1964 and 1970 under Harold Wilson. His government is known to have set up the Open University, which he regarded as his very important achievement. There was devaluation and inadequate response to industrial relation issues. For example, there was a strike by National Union of Seamen that lasted for six weeks, since they lacked trust with the government. In 1970, local authority and social services act established local authority social services department in England (Marr, 2007).
Conservative Government (1970-1974)
Between 1970 and 1974, conservative government took leadership under Edward Heath who aimed at taking Britain into European Economic Community. Integral local authority and departments in personal social services were established.
A minority government was formed by Harold Wilson between 1974 and 1979 under labor government, and there was renegotiation of better terms for Britain in the EEC and majority vote for retaining the common markets. Welfare policies were not reformed and unemployment remained a problem while inflation peaked. Additionally, the national debt increased. By 1978, the economy had grown and inflation rate decreased. There were employment policies that saw employment issue decline. Joint care planning teams were introduced alongside joint finance. Joint finance was intended for joint projects and this was seen to be better than having resources directly directed to health services. There was development of a long term strategy to ensure that the elderly were well taken care of (Marr, 2007).
Conservative Government (1979-1997)
Margret Thatcher under conservative government got into power between 1979 and 1990 with an aim of improving the economy. She introduced a tax policy that saw unemployment increase and the economy went to recession by 1980. In 1980s Thatcher’s government got concerned with environmental issues in the country. In 1980, health service act established district health authorities. Care in the community initiative was established in 1983 to support the resettlement of people from hospitals with long stay. John Major got into powered between 1990 and 1997 still under conservative government. Roy Griffiths was appointed to undertake a review of community care policy in 1986. In 1995, recognition and services act made sure that the carers provided substantial and regular care and that their needs were assessed whenever the person they cared for was assessed for community care services (Marr, 2007).
Labour Government (1997-2010)
Tony Blair ruled between 1997 and 2007. He promised social reform and economy. He introduced the human right act. His policies included minimum wage and university tuition fees. Additionally, there was the introduction of freedom of information act. Under the same government, Gordon Brown took over leadership from 2007 and 2010. It was during this time when there was an establishment of a better government for older people initiative. This would lead to the development of local strategies a population that was aging. The health act was passed and people could work between NHS and local authorities using pooled budget, integrated provision and lead commissioning arrangements.
Coalition Government (2010-Present)
It’s the coalition government that is in power from 2010 to present under David Cameron. He aimed at cutting public service spending and gives the local authorities more power.