1908 Old Age pensions

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How have cartoonists
shown the
Old Age Pension Act
1908
1908 Old Age pensions
2
Is this man a pensioner? What do we
need to know in order to answer the
question?
a. When the
photo was taken
b. How old the
man was at the
time
c. Whether he had a
criminal record etc.
d. Whether he was on poor
relief/ what income he had
This man is selling
matches and collar studs
e. Whether he is simply
supplementing his
inadequate pension
3
Old Age Pensions Act 1908
• Weekly pensions provided by the Government for the
elderly
• 5s per week to single people over 70, 7s 6d to couples
• Full amounts paid only to those who earned less than
£21 per year
• For British citizens who had lived there for 10+ years
• Not for anyone who had been in prison during the 19
years before claiming their pension
• The first pensions were paid in January 1909 and were
very popular among pensioners.
4
This is a pension claim
from a widow,
Elizabeth Murphy. The
majority of pensioners
were women - who
usually lived longer
than men and were
poorer. As you can
see, Mrs Murphy had
no income and relied
on her children for
support. Under the
Act she was able to
claim a pension of up
to 5 shillings a week.
5
How have cartoonists shown the
Old Age Pension reform?
Instructions
1) Get into pairs. You need one copy of the sheet
divided into 4 and a pencil and rubber!
2) Person A QUICKLY draws the first part from
the screen – person B faces away.
3) Person B draws the second part – person A
faces away.
4) Swap back and repeat.
5) Look at finished picture and work it out.
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How do I interpret this cartoon?
1.
Context – what was
happening at the time?
2.
Content – what is happening
in the cartoon?
3.
Comment – what is the
meaning of the cartoon?
12
Car on horizon
represents the rich
who are going to be
taxed to pay for the
reforms.
This is Lloyd George, Chancellor
of the Exchequer.
Shown as an armed
highwayman,
but why?
Money he is
about to steal
from the rich is
going to pay for
Old Age
Pensions. The
Cartoon is
August 1908.
A philanthropist is
someone who
helps his fellow
man, by force if
necessary.
If the rich really do pity the poor, let
them show it with their money, from
direct taxation.
13
My Expert caption
14
Many people were delighted with the reforms.
........................But was everyone?
15
The new pension was a
crucial step to improve the
quality of lives of many
thousands of old people.
It freed them of the fear
of being sent to the
workhouse.
What would a
pessimist say?
Optimist
16
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