Attlee Government’s Achievements

Major acts

  • National Health Service Act 1946: made healthcare free on the basis of citizenship and need rather than the payment of fees or insurance premiums.
  • National Insurance Act 1946: introduced social security, in which persons of working age had to pay a weekly contribution and in return were entitled to a wide range of benefits when they could no longer work.
  • Coal Industry Nationalisation Act 1946, Electricity Act 1947, Transport Act 1947: nationalised the coal industry, electricity utilities, railways and long-distance haulage.
  • Town and Country Planning Act 1947: planning permission now required for land development; ownership alone no longer sufficient.
  • Children Act 1948: established a comprehensive childcare service, reforming services providing care to deprived and orphaned children.
  • Nurseries and Child-Minders Regulation Act 1948: paid child-minders now registered and regulated; inspection regime in place to check their methods and facilities meet basic minimum standards.
  • National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949: allowed the creation of National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales, gave the public rights of way and access to open land.

Nationalised one fifth of the British economy.