The poor laws gave help to the helpless and deserving poor
Voluntary donations were no longer sufficient to fund poor relief.
The government had introduced taxes to raise money for the poor.
1563 poor law- gave magistrates the power to raise local funds for the poor.
Introduced fines for those who had refused to pay
1572 poor law- local officials had power to decide how much people should pay
At the end of the year there was national system of taxation to pay for the poor relief.
The poor law of 1576 meant that poor people could now go to prison.
The government became more involved in poor relief.
The main source of support for the poor was charity, rich people would donate some money to the poor and make donations to hospitals, monasteries and other organisations that helped the poor.
During Elizabeth's reign poverty had become such a big issue that charitable donations by individuals was not enough.
The government feared that the rising poverty levels was a threat to law and order. crime rates had also rose due to poverty so the government feared that the poor might rise up in rebellion if the problem of poverty wouldn't get cleared.
people had began realising that the only way to take responsibility of the poor was to work as a community so the government had to take action.
people believed that the poor could be split up in 3 categories.
The helpless poor:
Those who were unable to support themselves orphans, elderly,sick or disabled
The deserving poor:
people who wanted to work but they were unable to find a job in their village/town.
The undeserving poor: Beggars, criminals and people who refused to work. (Vagabonds)
The undeserving poor were treated harshly
1563 poor law- the undeserving poor could be publicly whipped
1572- The punishment was even harsher now they would face the whipping and having a hole bored through their right ear
repeat offender would face imprisonment or even execution
They were treated so harshly because they were seen as a threat to society.