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All of these legislations include the changes enacted by the post-war Labour Government (Spicker, 2011). However, there were several deviations in these Acts from the Beveridge’s original proposals. This paper explores how the society has been changing in the past fifty years and the comparison of the different state of the people’s welfare.
In the Family Allowances Act the departure was the rejection of Beveridge’s recommended level of 8 shillings (whereby 1 shilling = 5 pence) for each child and adopted a weekly rate of five shillings. In social insurance, among the main departures in the National Insurance Act were: first, there was only a limited period of 12 months to unemployment benefit and not paid indefinitely. Secondly, the 20 year phasing was left out after the immediate introduction of the full-fat rate old-age pensions and the assessed benefit level was 131%. This is the same as that of Rowntree’s 1938 which was higher than the 125% from Beveridge’s recommendation. In social assistance, there was deviation in National Assistance Act that the support included the definite cost of housing that made the assistance higher than that of Beveridge’s report which included an average rent of ten shillings. This deviation ensured that a large number of beneficiaries could qualify for assistance (Spicker, 2011: 40-42). The critical nature of these departures from the Beveridge’s integrated planning report was for a fact distorted so that he could not be held responsible for most failures but could be critiqued for being politically unrealistic. Further changes came later like the Graduated Pension Act that came into operation in 1961 and later again in 1971 changed to Strategy for Pension under the Tory Government (Spicker, 2011:42-45). This paper will actively consider the changes in society during this period in terms of sociological and psychological developments that have taken place while utilising the qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with older participants. There exist several approaches in qualitative research that are operational and most of them have: interest in meanings, understandings, perspectives and have a focus on the natural settings. They also have an emphasis on the process and are concerned with grounded theory and inductive analysis. Methods used in qualitative studies were developed to enable scholars to study cultural and social phenomena in social sciences domain (Woods, 2006). Qualitative research is inspired by the power of observation that identifies ability to talk as a distinguishable feature of humans from the natural world. Hence, the design in these methods is to help scholars understand people and their social and cultural environment (Myers 2009). Qualitative researchers have an interest in data from the world as it is in real circumstances (Kaplan and Maxwell 1994). According to woods (2006), talking with people provides the best quality material for qualitative research through both formal interviews and casual conversations. Interviews enable a researcher to get the meanings and understandings of the respondents but also the researcher can gain the participant’s confidence through unobtrusive and empathetic encounter thus avoiding imposing their influence to the respondent. According to Allmark (2009), there is no predefined structure or theoretical framework that was anticipated, and therefore, there was no hypothesis that was formulated prior to the interview. The questions about the social reality under investigation were also not framed prior to the interview. This is because the interview was to be in a form of a narration and only then was the questions asked in response to the narration to fulfil the unstructured
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