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Living standards, inequality and poverty: Labour's record

Alastair Muriel, David Phillips and Luke Sibieta
Briefing note

In this Briefing Note, we assess the changes to living standards that have occurred under the first 11 years of the Labour government, setting out how average incomes, income inequality and poverty have changed between 1996-97 and 2007-08 (the latest year for which data on all three are available). We compare these changes with what happened under previous governments.

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Observation
The Liberal Democrats have, once again, claimed that the poor pay more of their income in tax than the rich, and that this gap has got larger under Labour. But, by ignoring the fact that the poor get most of this income from the state in benefit and tax credit payments, and by overstating the ...
Press release
The tax and benefit measures implemented by Labour since 1997 have increased the incomes of poorer households and reduced those of richer ones, largely halting the rapid rise in income inequality we saw under the Conservatives. Despite this, inequality was still slightly higher in 2007-08 than when ...