The Truth
 
 
 
 

Labour burying Poverty figures until after Local Elections .........

 
by Stewart Cowan, 3/4/08
 

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 in 2006.

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 'working 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 disclosed yesterday."

"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 the poor."

"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."

Conclusions

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 and integrity.

Hopefully Labour supporters will realise this soon.