C.S.Loch: a pamphlet titled "Old Age Pensions and Pauperism"; C.S.Loch, "An Enquiry as the bearing of the Statistics of Pauperism etc."
Read before the South Wales and Monmouthshire Poor Law Conference at Brecon in May 1892.
The promoters' ground: the statistics of old age pauperism were proof of deplorable suffering in old age for which no other remedy could be found than pension. But, "in very many places, perhaps in most rural districts, out-relief was granted to the aged very easily, and carried little or no implication of suffering". Out-relief was not the last resource of the aged, but the first. It was against the inference from Poor Law statistics that the pamphlet of the COS was directed.
According to Loch pension and insurance schemes were unnecessary because people could provide for themselves (for example through friendly societies), and would do so when not led to expect help from public funds [M 142].
COS's analysis: the effect of the pension schemes would be to increase the number of persons qualifying both for Poor Law and pensions, the demand for the latter being greatest in Unions where the Poor Law was inefficiently administered; "To base any statement in regard to the alleged need of a national annuity or pension scheme upon the pauperism of the country, as it stands at the present time, is to accept that pauperism as ineviable", insted of remedy it [SW 291-292]. "Old Age Pension" resulted in stereotyping the pauperism of old age for ever.
But "perhaps no question has given rise to more controversy within the Society, or alienated more of its supporters". A "full dress" debate took place at a special meeting of Council on March 21 [SW 296-297].
Insurance and Saving: A Report on the Existing Opportunities for Working-Class Thrift . A volume in the Charity Organisation series published by the Society.
Voluntary insurance by thrift, through the friendly societies, could provide for old age; there was no need to absolve a large class from the task of supplying itself with necessities during a portion of life.
'What society requires for its reformation is not that each man when he comes to the age of 60 shall find that his fairy godmother, the State, has put a balance at his bankers, but rather that, during his life, he shall have followed the prudent course of so limiting his responsibilities to his income that at 60 he finds himself in posession, by his own exertion, of adequate provision for his old age. ... To remove the necessity of providing for old age would be to remove one of the most potent influences of civilisation' [M 143].
The Strength of the People .
Wage earners could provide for their old age, and did so, through the frinendly societies. Even the lowest-paid wage-earner could save if he wished, because, except for the first fourtenn years of his married life, his children would be doublin or trebling the family income by their own earnings; and later, they would help to support him.