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Government's Conspiracy Against the Poor


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Article in today's Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/ap...xclusion.labour

Britain grew richer during Tony Blair's decade in power, but for large sections of the population it did not become fairer, the government's chief statistician disclosed yesterday.

Karen Dunnell, head of the Office for National Statistics, said the income gap between high- and low-earners was not affected by the measures introduced while Gordon Brown was chancellor to raise the living standards of the poor.

Over the past 20 years national life expectancy increased and educational standards improved, but disadvantage persisted among minority ethnic groups, disabled people and the residents of deprived areas.

Dunnell's report on British society came a day after the statistics service gained independence from Treasury control.

She said that when Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979 the most prosperous 10% of households earned three times the income of the least prosperous 10%. By the time Thatcher resigned in 1990 the top group was earning four times more.

The gap did not change during John Major's administration and remained the same under Blair.

Dunnell said: "Equality is recognised nationally and internationally as a key aspect of progress in society ... on average in the UK we are richer, but there is evidence that inequality in income has increased over the last two decades."

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Guest Stephen Turner
Article in today's Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/ap...xclusion.labour

Britain grew richer during Tony Blair's decade in power, but for large sections of the population it did not become fairer, the government's chief statistician disclosed yesterday.

Karen Dunnell, head of the Office for National Statistics, said the income gap between high- and low-earners was not affected by the measures introduced while Gordon Brown was chancellor to raise the living standards of the poor.

Over the past 20 years national life expectancy increased and educational standards improved, but disadvantage persisted among minority ethnic groups, disabled people and the residents of deprived areas.

Dunnell's report on British society came a day after the statistics service gained independence from Treasury control.

She said that when Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979 the most prosperous 10% of households earned three times the income of the least prosperous 10%. By the time Thatcher resigned in 1990 the top group was earning four times more.

The gap did not change during John Major's administration and remained the same under Blair.

Dunnell said: "Equality is recognised nationally and internationally as a key aspect of progress in society ... on average in the UK we are richer, but there is evidence that inequality in income has increased over the last two decades."

Add in New labours spineless abolition of the lower tax bands, and things are set to get even worse. Whilst, of course, taxation remains a matter of opt out for the super rich.

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When is the next general election in the UK? Do you think there will be a change of government?

Blue capitalists may well replace pink capitalists at the next election.

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When is the next general election in the UK? Do you think there will be a change of government?

Blue capitalists may well replace pink capitalists at the next election.

Sorry, but what does that mean? I'm woefully ignorant of UK politics.

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When is the next general election in the UK? Do you think there will be a change of government?

Blue capitalists may well replace pink capitalists at the next election.

Sorry, but what does that mean? I'm woefully ignorant of UK politics.

Blue capitalists = Conservative Party (Tories)

Pink capitalists = (New) Labour

I think the point Andy was making is that the Labour Party of today bears little resemblance to the Labour Party of 20 years ago. A change of Government won't make a huge amount of difference to Mr and Mrs Joe Average. In the 1980's Conservatives and the Labour Party were poles apart on just about every issue: nowadays there's so much overlap it's difficult to distinguish the 2.

As Pete Townsend of The Who would have said "Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss".

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Add in New labours spineless abolition of the lower tax bands, and things are set to get even worse. Whilst, of course, taxation remains a matter of opt out for the super rich.

I can imagine the roasting Labour would have (rightly) given the Tories if Thatcher had done something like this 20 years ago.

At least a few back-bench MPs seem to be standing up to the Government over this issue. Don't expect a climb-down anytime soon though.

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