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Read e-book online A Decent Provision: Australian Welfare Policy, 1870 to 1949 PDF

By John Murphy

A good Provision is a story background of the way and why Australia equipped a particular welfare regime within the interval from the 1870s to 1949. before everything of this era, the Australian colonies have been belligerently insisting they have to now not have a terrible legislation, but had reproduced the various structures of charitable provision in Britain. via the beginning of the 20 th century, a mixture of prolonged suffrage, simple salary rules and the elderly pension had ended in a name as a 'social laboratory'. And but part a century later, Australia was once a 'welfare laggard' and the hard work Party's welfare nation of the mid-1940s used to be a comparatively modest and parsimonious building. types of welfare in response to social assurance were vigorously rejected, and the Australian approach persisted on a direction of hugely residual, detailed welfare funds.

The ebook explains this curious and halting trajectory, displaying how offerings made in prior many years restricted what will be performed, and what might be imagined. in keeping with large new learn from a number of fundamental assets it makes an important contribution to common old debates, in addition to to the sphere of comparative social coverage.

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The Seeming Indifference of the State A critical dimension in these late nineteenth-century debates was about the proper balance between voluntary benevolent action and state action, which was framed as a tension between ‘the springs of private charity’ and state taxation to fund institutions. Taxation to pay for charity, whether through general taxes or municipal rates, was seen as a threat that would stifle both philanthropic giving and saving through friendly society subscriptions, both the ‘other-regarding’ gift of benevolence, and the ‘self-regarding’ of mutual thrift and self-provision.

A Decent Provision 12 the hope to produce ‘a new world without welfare’. 10 These cross-class objections to the complex meanings of the Poor Law reflected both the aspirations of new societies and the economic facts of labour scarcity. 11 It was a common enough reflection. Anthony Trollope had noted the same sentiment when he toured Australia in the 1870s, though he commented that, although there was no Poor Law, it did not follow that there were no poor. 13 Such early commentators were capturing both the opposition to the inheritance of the Poor Law and some of the meanings and aspirations of the Antipodean ‘social laboratory’.

The 1834 Royal Commission on the Poor Laws was the pivot of this change, arguing that parish support artificially supplemented wages, while the laws of settlement prevented the development of a ‘free’ and mobile labour market. In this framework, ‘outdoor’ relief, as opposed to ‘indoor’ relief within institutions, produced ‘pauperism’ as a demoralizing dependence upon charity. Their draconian solution was to attempt to abolish outdoor relief altogether, while adding a more punitive administration to ‘indoor relief’, which was made deliberately Spartan and demeaning in order to repel all but the ‘deserving poor’.

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A Decent Provision: Australian Welfare Policy, 1870 to 1949 by John Murphy


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