Briefing Note (BN90)

What has happened to 'Severe Poverty' under Labour?

Date: 07 April 2010
Authors:
Publisher: Institute for Fiscal Studies
DOI: 10.1920/bn.ifs.2010.0090

This election briefing note surveys a range of data sources and definitions. It finds strong evidence of an increase in the rate of severe poverty since 2004-05, mirroring a rise in the official poverty rate, although the rate of persistent poverty (i.e. where people remain poor for a number of years) does seem to have fallen under Labour, at least until 2007. But the evidence is less conclusive about whether severe poverty is now higher than when Labour came to power.