The aims of the Liberal reforms

The Liberal reforms are very important - they show a marked change in government policy from a largely laissez-faire approach to a more 'collectivist' approach.

The government now accepted that it should have a much larger role and responsibility in helping those sections of society who could not help themselves.

Between 1906 and 1914 the Liberal reforms attempted to deal with the problem of poverty. The Liberals focused on four groups in society:

  • the old
  • the young
  • the sick
  • the unemployed
Winston Churchill supported helping the poor
Winston Churchill supported helping the poor

The Liberals also introduced reforms to help those employed in low paying jobs and jobs with poor working conditions.

Winston Churchill summed up the aim of the reforms, saying If we see a drowning man we do not drag him to the shore. Instead, we provide help to allow him to swim ashore. In other words, the Liberals tried to provide some help for the poorer sections of society in order that they could help themselves.