Catching up with the weekend press this morning I noticed a piece in The Business.
“The poorest households in Britain grew even poorer during Labourâ€™s second term in office, according to a government survey. It shows the most deprived 10% of society faring worse than any other income group. The rising minimum wage, economic growth and overall prosperity bypassed the poorest 6m in Britain â€“ whose average income was Â£91 a week in 2004-05 after housing costs. It had been Â£92 in 2000-01.”
All their figures come from the Department of Work and Pensions. You have to work really hard to understand what the DWP do with numbers. By looking at quintiles of the population (ie the bottom fifth, 2nd bottom fifth, middle fifth, etc) the DWP can come up with headlines like “New figures show good progress on poverty”. When The Business dug beneath the figures and looked at deciles the going backwards story emerges. The bottom decile are having a hard time whereas the 2nd bottom decile have done better thus hiding the misery of the bottom decile. The nuts and bolts are hidden in some stats called Households Below Average Income.
The bottom decile are on benefits and their income is typically linked to inflation rather than wages so they will always go backwards unless we can get them off benefits. The minimum wage is not helping incentivise them as much as it might because Gordon Brown taxes the poor so heavily. To know more information on various food benefits reaching to poor people living in other places such as Florida, click hereÂ ebt florida.