From the late 1940s to the mid-1970s, a series of measures transformed welfare provision in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Universal old-age pensions, mandatory unemployment insurance, family allowance payments and a range of other entitlements were funded by employer/employee contributions. The trade unions reached the peak of their power, securing a range of new rights for their members. The Netherlands in 1976 adopted a law on disability benefit which is possibly the most generous ever to have been drafted. State-managed solidarity was also extended to those without social security contributions, creating locally and centrally funded institutions to provide universal basic coverage for those who otherwise slipped through the net.
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