The proposal for a welfare state - the basics

In 1942, the Liberal politician William Beveridge, was given the task of discovering what kind of Britain people wanted to see after the war. As a result of this, he declared that there were five "giants on the road to reconstruction". These were:

  1. poverty
  2. disease
  3. ignorance
  4. squalor
  5. idleness

To defeat these giants, he proposed setting up a welfare state with social security, a national health service, free education, council housing and full employment.

In the years after the war, the Labour government tried to make this vision come true.