NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
18th February, 1909 : No more children would stay in workhouses, if proposals suggested by a Royal Commission on Britain’s poor laws are accepted. Help would also be given for the “unemployed of good character”. And, in a lengthy and radical report the commission calls for the board of guardians to be scrapped and power to pass to counties and county boroughs. Although the commission was united in its condemnation of the present system, its 18 members disagreed over the remedies. Four members, including Mrs Beatrice Webb from the Fabian Society and Mr George Lansbury, produced a minority report which outlines a detailed programme including the creation of a Ministry of Labour. The minority report also calls for public money to be spent on work such as coastline protection.
[And hundred years later the Fabians are still at it – more ministries, more spending of taxpayers’ money…]