Britain: Assault on the Welfare State

Assault on the Welfare State

The Conservative government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher unveiled plans last week for the most ambitious overhaul of Britain's $51 billion-a-year welfare program since the cradle-to-grave system was launched in 1948. Some 20 million people would be affected, whether through tightening of the qualifications for a once-only maternity grant, eliminating a state-financed pension fund or restricting the $38 payment for funeral expenses to poor families. Special aid for the needy, housing benefits and payments to unemployed youths would also be axed. The foundations, the National Health Service and the basic old-age-pension system would not be touched by the proposals, which will...

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