Beveridge Report


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Beveridge Report

a report setting out the principles which informed the creation of the British WELFARE STATE immediately after World War II. The formal title of the report is Social Insurance and Allied Services (published in 1942), but it is more commonly known after its author, William Beveridge (1879-1963).

Influenced by a KEYNESIAN ECONOMIC model which promoted full employment, and following the interwar economic depressions, Beveridge wanted to create a social policy which would eradicate what he considered to be the five great problems of idleness, ignorance, disease, squalor and want. The report advocated the introduction of social insurance to provide a universal system of social security (including family allowances) and a universal, comprehensive and free NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE. Although the Beveridge Report gained wide support, it has been criticized for establishing a meagre system of benefits and for reinforcing a wife's economic dependence on her husband since, according to the scheme, in the case of a married couple, only the man could claim. See also POVERTY.