Chapter 9 Social Affairs
1. What is meant by the term “welfare state” in Britain？
The welfare state is a system of government by which the state provides the economic and social security for its citizens through its organization of health services，pensions and other facilities.The system is funded out of national isurance contributions and taxation.In Britain ther term applies mainly to the National Health Service，national insurance and social security.
2.Are British people obliged to use the National Health Service.
No， they are no obliged to use the NHS.
3.At what age do men and women generally retire？
Generally speaking ，men retire at the age of 65and women at the age of 60.
4.What contributory social security benefits do the British people get？
The British people can get the following contributory social security benefits：retirement persions， unemployment benefit，sickness and invalidity benefit，maternity allowance and widows‘ benefit.
5.What is the most important established Church in Britain？How is it related to the Crown and linked with the State.
It is the Church of England
Church of England is uniquely related to the Crown in that the Sovereign must be a member of that Church and ，as “Defender of the Faith”，must promise on his or her accession to uphold it.
The Church is also linked with the Sate through the House of Lords，in which the two archbishops，the bishops and 21 others senior bishops have seats.
6.What festival is the greatest in Britain？What is its significance and at what time is it celebrated？
Christmas is the greatest festival in Britain. It‘s celebrated on December 25th. Apart from its religious significance which celebrates the birth of Christ，two important things are of great importance：the custom of giving gifts and the habit of spending it with the family.
8.How is New year‘s Eve celebrated in England and Scotland？
On New Year‘s Eve， in England and Scotland ，people stay up late，often at a party or a religious“watch-night service”，to see the New Year in. As the clocks strike midnight between December 31st and January 1st，church bells start ringing joyfully，and people at their parties drink a toast to the New Year，wishing their friends happiness and prosperity.
9.What is the Scotiish tradition concerning New Year‘s Day？
It is a Scottish tradition that the first person to cross the threshold of your house on New Year‘s Day should be darkhaired，for such a person brings luck for the coming year.