The Development of the Irish Welfare State Essay Sample
The following essay sample work shall discuss the welfare state in Ireland, creation of Irish welfare state by eradication of poverty, Social Welfare Consolidation Act, 2005, history and development of Irish social policy.
The ‘welfare state‘ is a state that represents the health, welfare, happiness and wellbeing of the people in the society. It includes the housing or accommodation facility, income, education and health. Ireland is known as residual welfare state which is different from Britain.
In the 1920s there were welfare measures which were taken up initially for the newly formed free state government. In this Catholic Social Teaching and the Catholic Church were important elements of the Irish social policies.
From 1947-1952 formal structure of consolidated different schemes of payment was introduced. The Irish Welfare State had the aim to eradicate social issues of poverty, exclusion, unemployment and wants to help the state to become social welfare state.
Ireland have developed a better social welfare infrastructure in comparison to the other countries in the world.
Creation of the Irish Welfare State by Eradication of Poverty
During the first two decades of the 20th century just before the Irish independence a minimum wage rate was introduced in many industries in 1909 and was applied to the farm workers in 1920.
Free school meals were provided along with protection to the children, old age pension and unemployment assistance were also given.
In April 1909, a Warfare budget was raised to raise the money to eradicate poverty. In the year 1911, the National Insurance Act was passed to provide free medical treatment and sick pay for 20 weeks with a contribution of 10 shillings per week.
After the Irish independence many legislations were passed to build almost a million homes in Ireland for the heroes of the First World War. This was known as the “homes for the heroes.”
There were also unemployment and pension benefits after the retirement. Many social problems were faced by the Irish society in 1942 and as the result of it a compulsory insurance scheme was recommended.
Some of the recommendations were taken into consideration by the Labour Party and were forwarded to the institute of the National Health Service (NHS).
Social Welfare Consolidation Act, 2005
The Social Welfare Acts were all consolidated in the year of 2005 following many amendments. There has been an administrative consolidation of Social Welfare Consolidation Act, 2005 which was prepared by the officials in Department of Social Protection.
This Act is a piece of legislation that governs the social welfare code such as the social insurance benefits (Jobseekers benefit, State Contributory Pension), Social Insurance Fund, Child Benefit, Social Assistance Schemes etc.
It includes the control and application of schemes such as insurability provisions in relation to employees and self employed people.
This Act also include the penalties of the offences and providing the legal proceedings under the social welfare code, mechanisms governing decisions, appeals to social welfare and Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme.
History and Development of Irish Social Policy
The social policy was born in the 17th to 18th century in Ireland before the welfare provisions in the 19th century. In year 1703, the act which was first enacted for the upliftment of poor and eradication of poverty is called the “Poor Law Act.”
Work houses were built for the poor in Cork and Dublin to be able to control the needs of the poor. There was nine operational work houses in Ireland by 1838. Many poor families, old people and abandoned children stayed in those houses.
The Poor Law helped in funding the dispensaries in the rural areas. Ireland in 1817 established Public lunatic asylum and was the first European country to do that. National Schools were established in 1831 to enhance the industrial and educational growth of the children.
Ireland predominantly was a agricultural country and was least affected by the industrial revolution. Many Irish people had migrated to Britain for search of jobs and meeting of agricultural demands in Britain. The inequality between the landlords and tenants lead to the poverty.
The Poor Law and it’s Implementation
The Poor Law was an Act for the relief of poor by providing them with adequate services but no right to direct access and relief into workhouses. Only people who were prioritized were added into these few houses such as old age group, children, women etc.
The houses were meant for a good control and management but it’s overall purpose failed during the 1845 famine. After the situation of famine these work houses got overcrowded and state had to intervene. Many people lost their lives in Ireland and voluntary and government assistance were given to them.
Situation of Ireland got so critical that a new act was emerged as ‘Irish Poor Relief Extention Act’. This Act included the victims of Irish famine who are staying outside these houses and the relieving officers provides them food. Only sick, aged and children were prioritized.
Emergence of the ‘Relief Distress Act, 1880’ was seen as a provision of generous relief that led to the Supplemantary Welfare Allowance. An emigration of Irish population to Britain and the other countries were arranged.
The famine was so severe that due to a wide outspread of many diseases poor law unions were given the role of building work houses and hospitals and created land for the graveyard in 1846.
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The above-written essay sample highlights the development of the Irish welfare state.
Social Analysis QQI Level 6, Social Policy QQI Level 6, Social Studies QQI Level 5, Social Care QQI Level 6, Community and Social Care QQI Level 5, Applied Social Studies QQI Level 5 students can read this sample to gain a professional understanding of such topics and to enhance their writing skills.
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