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Money for everyoneWhy we need a citizen's income$
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Malcolm Torry

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447311249

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447311249.001.0001

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How Did We Get to Where We Are Now?27

How Did We Get to Where We Are Now?27

(p.17) Chapter 2 How Did We Get to Where We Are Now?27
Money for everyone

Malcolm Torry

Policy Press

This chapter tells the history of the UK's benefits system from the Elizabethan Poor Law, through the Beveridge Report of 1942, to ‘Universal Credit’. Means-testing is a common thread throughout, and change has generally been by evolutionary process. The chapter discusses how the UK's nonwithdrawable Family Allowance (for all but the first child of each family) was established after the Second World War, and then how Child Benefit came about: an unconditional and nonwithdrawable benefit for every child. The current plan to withdraw Child Benefit from households containing higher rate taxpayers is discussed. The chapter concludes that a changing world requires reform of the benefits system.

Keywords:   Benefits system history, Means-testing, Poor Law, Beveridge Report, Family Allowance, Child Benefit

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