What: Considered to contain the founding principles of the post-war welfare state that set out the ‘five giants’ for social services to address: idleness, ignorance, disease, squalor, and want. Beveridge favoured a comprehensive insurance-based system where entitlement was based on contribution (by the employer, the employee, and the state). Disability was identified by Beveridge as a cause of want but through the lens of unemployment, leaving the needs of individual disabled people as a low priority for post-war state building (Borsay, 2004).
Why significant: Beveridge stated that the “plan is not one for giving to everybody something for nothing”. Disabled people were viewed as passive and dependent, with their needs also to be met as a matter of entitlement. The segregation of support for disabled people was carried through in the implementation of Beveridge’s recommendations.