Poor Relief

Current project status

In our consultation paper we propose the repeal of 57 obsolete Acts relating to the poor law relief arrangements that existed before the advent of the modern welfare state.  Indeed most of them are relics of the parish-based system that existed before 1834.  The earliest of them date back to 1697 during the reign of William III and made provision for the poor in areas such as Colchester, Exeter, Hereford and Shaftesbury.

Thes Acts were passed to provide the necessary powers to raise money from the inhabitants of a parish to build workhouses to contain the poor and elderly.  Today these powers are obsolete and are proposed for repeal on that basis.

The repeal provisions relate only to England and wales.

The closing date for comments is 30 October 2009.

Project details