With experts predicting that Labour's targets on reducing
poverty will not be realised, the Government will not
be releasing its annual poverty statistics until 2nd
May: the day after the local council elections in England
and Wales. Normally the figures are released in March.
The shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Chris Grayling,
said last night: "With this Government's dismal record
of trying to bury bad news, you'd think it would know
better. There's something deeply cynical and unsavoury
about pushing back the release of this information."
"The reality behind Labour's spin is that child poverty
is rising, despite its boasts. What has the Government
got to hide? The data should be released now."
What has the Government got to hide?
According to The
Independent, research by the respected Institute
for Fiscal Studies (IFS) suggests the figures will show
child poverty and inequality are rising, while disposable
incomes are falling.
It believes the increases in benefits and tax credits
in the 2006-07 financial year were not generous, leading
to falls or very small rises for couples with children
and lone parents.
In a report for Help the Aged, the IFS forecast a rise
in pensioner poverty in 2006-07, mostly because the
level of winter fuel allowances in 2005 was not repeated
Yesterday, the Tories claimed that 5.3 million low
paid families would lose up to £446 a year under Gordon
Brown's decision in his final Budget last year to abolish
the 10p lower rate of income tax. That takes effect
this week. Gordon Brown's own MPs told him that the
poor' would be worse hit.
The Tories claimed that one in five families would
be affected, even when tax credits are taken into account.
Of course, by denying the very low paid a 10% tax bracket
and offering tax credits instead, it puts more people
into the Social Security system which is just what the
Government wants to help subjugate and monitor the population.
Poverty gap not narrowed under Labour
According to an article in today's Guardian,
the poverty gap has not narrowed under Labour.
It says, "Britain grew richer during Tony Blair's
decade in power, but for large sections of the population
it did not become fairer, the government's chief statistician
"Karen Dunnell, head of the Office for National
Statistics, said the income gap between high- and low-earners
was not affected by the measures introduced while Gordon
Brown was chancellor to raise the living standards of
"Dunnell said: "Equality is recognised nationally
and internationally as a key aspect of progress in society
... on average in the UK we are richer, but there is
evidence that inequality in income has increased over
the last two decades." People living on their own and
single parents were more likely to live in "poor quality
environments", the report said."
Old Labour had concern for the poor and disadvantaged,
while New Labour is often the cause of poverty. Champagne
socialists infatuated with celebrity will not improve
the lives of the needy.
If it is true that the poverty statistics are being
deliberately withheld to give Labour a better chance
in the local elections then it shows their lack of honour
Hopefully Labour supporters will realise this soon.