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Home Publications What has happened to 'Severe Poverty' under Labour?

What has happened to 'Severe Poverty' under Labour?

Briefing note

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.

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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 ...