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Who benefits from welfare?

People are calling for a return to the first principles of the welfare state, but politicians can't get there

By Philip Collins   June 2013

William Beveridge, creator of the “welfare state” hated the term, believing that the heavy hand of the state crowded out private enterprise (© Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The welfare state began, 70 years ago, with the famous tears of William Beveridge. When he received the request from Arthur Greenwood, the Labour minister responsible for reconstruction, to write a report on social insurance, the darts pricked Beveridge at the back of his eyes.

He wasn’t crying with delight at being offered his chance to erect a monument to himself. He…

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