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Disability and the Welfare State in BritainChanges in Perception and Policy 1948-79$
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Jameel Hampton

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447316428

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447316428.001.0001

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date: 13 December 2017

Cinderella of the welfare state: legislation for disabled people, 1970–72

Cinderella of the welfare state: legislation for disabled people, 1970–72

Chapter:
(p.133) Five Cinderella of the welfare state: legislation for disabled people, 1970–72
Source:
Disability and the Welfare State in Britain
Author(s):

Jameel Hampton

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447316428.003.0005

This chapter discusses how the breakthrough in perception identified in chapter four led to the creation of legislation. The landmark Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 was passed and received effusive praise as it was thought that its terms and overall dedication to recognition and acceptance would soon lead to the full equality of disabled people. Under Keith Joseph, the Department of Health and Social Security introduced the first of what was planned to be a series of cash benefits. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the highly publicised 1972 thalidomide crisis that immediately, if tragically, raised the profile of disability. Under pressure from media and the public, Cabinet debated whether to provide special compensation to victims and their families. This first ‘moral panic’ about a small number of disabled children amplified questions of who was and who should be responsible for the welfare of all disabled people.

Keywords:   Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970, Conservative governments 1970-4, thalidomide, Keith Joseph, Disability

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