The Royal Commission into the Operation of the Poor Laws reported back in 1834

launched an investigation into the administration of the poor laws in 1832. The commission reported back in March 1834, concluding that poverty was being perpetuated by the provision of relief. This conclusion led the commission to recommend that all able-bodied people and their families would cease to receive relief. Instead, the poor able-bodied would be admitted to workhouses, which would be managed under groups of parishes and operate on the principle of ‘less eligibility’, which meant the conditions of workhouses would be less desirable than those of labourers of the lowest class.

The recommendations of the commission formed the basis of the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834. It was said that the Whig government already had plans in mind and that the commission provided the evidence for their proposals (Bloy).