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The one nation idea and state welfare: the Conservatives and pensions in the 1950s

Bridgen, Paul (2000) The one nation idea and state welfare: the Conservatives and pensions in the 1950s Contemporary British History, 14, (3), pp. 83-104. (doi:10.1080/13619460008581595).

Record type: Article


The Conservatives’ 1959 earnings-related pension scheme has rightly been dismissed by historians as an exercise in financial retrenchment. However, the debate that preceded its introduction has been ignored. This, it is argued, involved the first concerted attempt by ‘One Nation’ Conservatives to construct a social policy different both from the Conservative right’s rigid adherence to laissez-faire government and Labour’s uncritical statism. The state would guarantee and regulate greater private pension provision, but would only provide pensions as a last resort. The Treasury and the Conservative right blocked these proposals in 1957–58, but similar ideas continued to inform debates on pensions policy after this date.

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Published date: 2000


Local EPrints ID: 33818
PURE UUID: a6a651d3-5f73-44a4-abfa-c10edb8fe72a

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Date deposited: 20 Jul 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:51

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