Best-laid plans

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Like so many who write about post-Second World War Britain, Alastair Harper (Letters, 8 April) does not seem to grasp that the Beveridge Report was written by an old-fashioned Liberal politician who saw its implementation as the highest political end achievable.

However, the interpretation of the report that was implemented was the work of hard-nosed Labour Party politicians, many of whom saw its introduction as one of the many means of furthering the long-held ambitions they had for their party and the trade union movement, rather than seeing it only as an eminently desirable end in itself, as Beveridge had intended.

This twin-aimed approach has bedevilled both the welfare state and the National Health Service from their inception.

It should also be borne in mind that however laudable the idea of the government paying a “child allowance” was, and still is to many, the payment of this unearned income into families was the first of many actions that undermined the status of the breadwinner as head of the family and also introduced the something-for-nothing culture of today.

Irvine Inglis