1950s >> 1958 >> no-641-january-1958

50 Years Ago: Vast Army on Poor Relief

  “There is a vast army of men and women wretchedly poor, living under abject and squalid conditions, and existing on a pittance eked out by the poor rate and private charity.” (Statement by Home Secretary, quoted in Socialist Standard, January, 1908.)


Vast Army on National Assistance (1958)


  “We make a lot of silly statements about our so- called Welfare State, in which poverty has been abolished and provision made for everyone. But the number of people on Poor Relief (we now call it National Assistance, but this is only a change of name) now number 1,700,000, nearly as high as the figure for the worst depression years, and very much higher than it was in the years before 1914. when practically none of our present social services were in existence.”


(The economist, Colin Clark, in The Cost of Living, p. 7.)