Published: 13/06/2002, Volume II2, No.5809 Page 8

The government's reform of social security over the last five years has shifted income towards the poor although income inequalities are little changed, according to a new survey by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Its paper, Social Security Under New Labour: what the third way means for welfare reform, reveals that the poorest third of households will have benefited by£25 per week by 2003, with the richest 10 per cent losing£11 per week.The changes have helped reduce child poverty on the government's preferred measure by 500,000 between 1997 and 2001.Payments of means-tested benefits have also increased, by 33 per cent for eligible lone parents with two young children and by 31 per cent for low-income single pensioners under 75.

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