The elderly as it gave them extra money and

The Liberals
introduced the old pension act in 1908 when faced with the undeniable evidence
of poverty and hardship Britain was encountering at the time. Evidence from
social reformers like Charles Booth and the already present successful scheme
in Germany showcased the government that change was needed to prevent the
workers uprising and turning to socialism. The elderly ultimately had it worse
as being unable to work meant that the majority had to rely on their family to
feed and house them. This may have been caused by not earning enough to put
money aside for their future, low wages or factors that caused their savings to
be diverted. The elderly’s options in the 1900s where to seek charity at either
churches or workhouses, which was considered to be humiliating. As attitudes
towards poverty started to change so did parliament’s stand on state pensions.
The introduction of the pension, in 1908, gave 5 shilling a week to people over
70, whose income was less than £21, or 7 shillings to a married couple. Although
the amount was not much, the principle established of the state caring for the
elderly was important to further reforms in the future. During the 19th
century the idea of giving money to the poor was unacceptable so the solution
was giving the elderly better and separated living areas in the workhouses.
This implies that the old pensions act is a considerable improvement in tackling
the problems of inequality. The introduction was received well among the public
especially by the elderly as it was the first time proper relief was given to
them. This is illustrated in a newspaper report by the Daily Express on the pensions
in 1909 which expressed how “old folks hobbled along the streets with their
pensions books” and how a woman had “dropped dead from excitement.” The act was
praised by many of the elderly as it gave them extra money and they didn’t have
to contribute any of their own income to receive it. The act was also a great
success in removing the negative stigma of going to the poor house to receive
money as the elderly were able to collect their pensions from their post
office.  This act was universal which
ensured that the elderly all over Britain didn’t succumb to workhouses. This
resulted in the number people who were dependent on charities or poor relief to
drop dramatically and by 1914, 1 million people were receiving these pensions.