Charity reveals government progress on poverty targets

The government has made some progress in tackling poverty but has
not gone far enough, according to new work published by the Joseph
Rowntree Foundation.

Three new reports show that low income households have been helped
by falling unemployment, rising school achievement and better
housing conditions. And the poor have benefited more than those on
higher incomes from increased spending on health and

A survey of 50 key indicators of poverty and social exclusion
reveals that 24 have improved over the past five years whereas six
have grown worse. But further action will be required if the
government is to meet its target of reducing child poverty by a
quarter over the five years to 2004. That would mean 3.2 million
children living in poverty in two years time, compared with 4.4
million in 1996-7. By 2000-1 the figure had fallen to 3.9 million.

Most of the reduction in family poverty resulted from more parents
obtaining paid work. Children in poor households with part-time
workers appeared to benefit most from benefit changes and the
introduction of tax credits for low paid parents.

– Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion 2002, from the
Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 01904 430033; Recent Changes in the
Distribution of the Social Wage
, CASEpaper 62, and
Changing Poverty Post-1997, CASEpaper 63, from

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