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Poverty gap widens under Labour

Remember the Tories looking after the rich at the expense of the poor? Remember the jubilation when the Labour Government was finally elected in 1997? Remember all the promises? Well, the latest research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies says the total poverty gap - the total income by which families fall short of the poverty line - has increased under Labour.

The report concludes that children who live in the poorest UK households have less of a chance of escaping poverty than when Labour came to power. Yet, child poverty is one of Labour's key targets, and has been at the heart of the political agenda since 1999.

Although some poor families have benefited, it is the rich who have benefited more. According to government surveys, 1.1 million children live in households with less than 40% of the national average income. Four out of 10 of these children live in households that do not receive any of the main means-tested benefits - even though they may be entitled to claim.

More and more people are being forced in to minimum wage jobs that are casual, temporary and often part-time. It is these in low-paid minimum wage jobs that are stuck in the poverty trap between benefits and a decent wage.

So, for all their talk, this government has failed abysmally to tackle poverty.Their policies benefit the rich at the expense of the poor - and they are set to continue to do so.

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