The government did little to improve the lives of the people throughout the 1930s

Topics: Social class, Great Depression, Working class Pages: 3 (1265 words) Published: April 25, 2015
The government did little to improve the lives of the people throughout the 1930s. Discuss (40) Four months after the Labour party won the general election in 1929, the Wall Street crash spurred Ramsay McDonald- as the leader of Labour, to seize this as an opportunity to make changes in Britain. The question as to whether these changes were comprehensive or brought about and improvement to the lives of people in Britain as a whole will be discussed in the following essay. Despite seeing an opportunity to initiate change for the better, Labour found balancing the annual budget difficult, the problem with increasing unemployment meant more had to be paid out in benefits as old industrial heartlands continued to decline after the war due to reduced demand. The government were said to have significantly worsened the economy by introducing the Import Duties act (1932) which discouraged foreign trade and worsened Britain’s place within the global market. Labour was said on the 19th August to have argued for 12 hours about government cuts to try and reduce deficit. This showed an unstable government in which the public, especially the working class could not put faith in, as there was not real guarantee that unemployment would be reduced during the depression, suggesting life did not improve significantly for many classes, particularly the lower class. This dissatisfaction with the government was represented in the ‘Jarrow march’ of 1936 where 300 miles were travelled by 207 marchers to highlight the poverty due to unemployment they faced to the government. The disappointment with the government from Labour voters worsened when a £56 million cuts were agreed by Henderson and many supporters felt betrayal. So in 1931 unemployment benefits were cut by 10%. Nevertheless the cuts were administered my Public assistance Councils (PAC) which understood the situation of the individual families within their council, so the government reached the public on a more personal...
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