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Welfare and Pensions Welfare and Pensions

Try to reduce poverty, including child poverty

Last updated 4 weeks ago

And we will continue our efforts through the tax and benefits system to reduce poverty, including child poverty.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2019, p.17

Our verdict

  • This is a commitment to “continue” to use the tax and benefits system to try to reduce poverty.
  • Government “efforts” to reduce poverty in recent years have been unsuccessful, and the coronavirus crisis has made the situation far worse.  However, the Office for National Statistics finds that, “Overall, taxes and benefits…redistribute income from the richest to the poorest people”, and therefore go some way towards reducing relative poverty.
  • This is not a pledge to actually reduce poverty, but only to “continue…efforts”, so in spite of a worsening situation, because efforts continue, the government has fulfilled its promise and this policy is ‘done’.

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