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Child Poverty in Britain and the New Labour Government

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 April 2001

DAVID PIACHAUD
Affiliation:
London School of Economics and Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion.
HOLLY SUTHERLAND
Affiliation:
Department of Applied Economics, University of Cambridge.

Abstract

The new Labour government in Britain has made the reduction of child poverty one of its central objectives. This article analyses the circumstances of children in poverty and describes the specific initiatives involved in Labour's approach and weighs them up in terms of their potential impact. The impact on child poverty of policies designed to raise incomes directly is analysed using micro-simulation modelling. A major emphasis of current policy is on the promotion of paid work, and we explore the potential for poverty reduction of increasing the employment of parents. The policies that address long-term disadvantage are also discussed and finally the whole programme is assessed and future strategy is considered.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2001 Cambridge University Press

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Footnotes

Acknowledgements We are grateful to the UNICEF International Child Development Centre, Florence for financial support and to John Hills, John Micklewright and Brian Nolan for helpful comments on an earlier draft. We are also grateful to Lavinia Mitton for research assistance. However, the errors that remain, as well as the opinions expressed, are the authors' responsibility. Data from the Family Expenditure Survey are Crown Copyright. They have been made available by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) through the Data Archive and are used by permission. Neither the ONS nor the Data Archive bears any responsibility for the analysis or interpretation of the data reported here. POLIMOD is the tax-benefit microsimulation model constructed by the Microsimulation Unit, originally funded by the ESRC (R000 23 3257). Parts of this paper first appeared in the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion Paper 38 in March 2000 and parts have been used in the UNICEF, Innocenti Research Centre Report on Child Poverty in Rich Nations, June 2000.

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