Northern Ireland - the Welfare State


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Northern Ireland - the Welfare State

  1. 1. The Welfare State in N. Ireland • Leaving Cert History • Northern Ireland 1949-1973
  2. 2. The Welfare State •General Election 1945 – Labour Party introduce the Welfare State. •Care for people in health, education and welfare •Higher taxes in return for (a) free healthcare – the NHS (b) free education (c) higher rates of pensions and unemployment benefits •British government provided extra money to NI to allow Stormont to introduce the Welfare State in the North •Unionists initially resisted the Welfare State fearing it would benefit Catholics and threaten Unionist Rule •Eventually implemented and NI became more prosperous and left the Republic far behind in social and economic terms
  3. 3. Education • Education Act 1947 – responsibility on local councils to provide education • Many Protestants concerned it reduced the role of religious instruction in schools • Implemented the 11-plus exam. Allowed the top 20% to attend grammar school. The rest would follow a more ‘technical’ programme • Local authorities had to provide free medical inspection and treatment, transport, milks, meals and books in schools • Large school grants meant the majority of students did not pay fees
  4. 4. • Numbers attending second-level increased by 100% by 1952 • Catholic bishops complained that state grants were lower for voluntary Catholic schools • Negotiations saw grants increased to 65% and to 100% when a school allowed local council representation on its school committee • Catholics benefited from increased spending at third-level Education
  5. 5. • Before WW2 poor housing in Catholic and Protestant working class areas • In Derry Catholics lived in overcrowded houses and flats • Many houses had no running water or toilet facilities • Northern Ireland Housing Trust set up in 1945 – power to borrow money to build houses • By 1960s the Trust had built 113,000 new houses • Allocation of houses by the Trust did not discriminate between Catholics and Protestants • Local authority houses were controlled mainly by Unionists - discrimination against Catholics Housing
  6. 6. Health Care • Health service in North under-funded and poorly serviced • Welfare State led to major changes • General medical, dental, pharmaceutical and eye services free to all • Increased spending on hospitals • Catholic Mater Hospital in Belfast insisted on remaining independent – deprived of state funds • New screening programme for TB reduced cases
  7. 7. Economy 1943-63 • By 1950s the post-war boom had faded. • N. Ireland was most disadvantaged area of UK • Increased urbanisation • Traditional industries in trouble • Rising unemployment • In 1961 10,000 men laid off from shipyards • Traditional methods of discrimination were not preventing growing radicalisation of Protestants • Brookeborough forced to resign
  8. 8. Economy under O’Neill • Concentrated on attracting foreign industry • New town of Craigavon built (100,000) • Investment of £450million in infrastructure to attract industry • Major road-building programme • Building of second university • Strategy successful in attracting foreign multinationals • Most companies located east of the R. Bann – did not help high unemployment among Catholics • British Government blamed uneven development for rise of Civil Rights Movement
  9. 9. • Presentation prepared by: • Dominic Haugh • St. Particks Comprehensive School • Shannon • Co. Clare • Presentation can be used for educational purposes only – all rights remain with author
  10. 10. • Presentation prepared by: • Dominic Haugh • St. Particks Comprehensive School • Shannon • Co. Clare • Presentation can be used for educational purposes only – all rights remain with author