Government fails on 10 anti-poverty targets

The government has failed to make any progress against at least
10 of its 55 anti-poverty indicators since they were introduced
four years ago, the government’s fifth annual poverty report
published this week reveals, writes Clare

The Department for Work and Pensions report also finds that
there is insufficient data to check whether improvements have been
made against a further 12 of the indicators.

The indicators are intended to measure progress against the
government’s long-term goals to tackle both poverty and its
sources, including its aims to eradicate child poverty in a
generation and to ensure that older people can live secure and
fulfilling lives.

However, the report shows that progress has been confirmed
against only 12 of the 20 indicators set to monitor children and
young people living in poverty, and against only 6 of the 11
indicators monitoring older people.

Paul Cann, director of policy at older people’s charity
Help the Aged said: “Despite the government’s strenuous
efforts and substantial public spending, pensioner poverty remains
a reality for many.”

The charity said the latest figures showed that, between 1998
and 2001, 18 per cent of pensioners lived in persistent poverty,
while the percentage living on a persistent low income had remained
between 16 and 18 per cent for over a decade.

Launching the report, ‘Opportunity for All’, work and pensions
secretary Andrew Smith said: “We have made great strides, but
we realise that there is more that must be done. Poverty and social
exclusion are deep-rooted problems that take time and effort to

‘Opportunity for All’ from

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