Sunday, April 03, 2005

Poor Get Even Poorer in Brown's Britain

Somebody is going to get fired at the Department of Work & Pensions, because a 357-page report reveals that the poorest 10% of families are becoming even poorer. The devastating official figures reveal Brown’s tax-and-spend agenda is hurting Middle Britain while failing to help the most vulnerable.

The poorest 5.8 million Britons are the only group whose take-home incomes are falling, despite Brown’s numerous anti-poverty drives and job-creation schemes, the real income of the poorest - after tax, welfare and housing costs - fell from £91 per week in 2001-02 to £90 the year after, and £88 by April 2004. It was the worst two years for Britain’s poor since the recession of 1991.

The figures are drawn up by statisticians from the DWP together with the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The report, Households Below Average Income, shows that the groups most likely to vote, such as pensioners and parents, have been the main winners from Brown’s tax credits and redistributionist policies. What a surprise.

The study shows that the poorest 10% are being pushed further to the fringes of society. Their total income has fallen from 3% of the UK total in 1997-98 to 2.8% in 2003-04. Welfare is the main source of income for the poorest 11.6 million in Britain, who rely on benefits and tax credits for 53% of their income. In this group, earnings account for only 39% of income. When housing costs are included, post-tax take-home pay of the top 10% rose by 1.4% between 2002-03 and 2003-04; during the same period, the poorest 10% saw their income drop by 2.2%.

The next worst-affected group was the middle earners, who suffered from a massive 12.9% rise in council tax and a 1% rise in national insurance. The DWP data shows that the poorest 10% have consistently suffered since Labour came to power in 1997, with their income rising in only two of the past seven years for which figures are available.

Recess Monkey claimed that the recent report by the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) suggesting that the average British household had seen a slide in income for the first time since the recession of the early 1990s was "discredited".

So how does he explain this?

Numbers nicked from the Scotsman. You don't think I'd actually read the report...


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