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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2003): Social Security - UK

HAND-OUTS LEAD TO 'DRAMATIC' FALL IN HARDSHIP

N. Timmins

The Financial Times, July 25th 2003, p.5

Gordon Brown's big cash injection to low-income families has produced a "dramatic" reduction in hardship, according to research by the Policy Studies Institute. Since 1997, the chancellor has injected £6bn a year into low-income families through increases in child benefit and new tax credits. At the same time the PSI has been tracking what has happened to a representative sample of 8,000 families using a measure of hardship that counts 40 "essential" items. While there was little change between 1997 and 1999, there has been a big fall in severe hardship between then and 2001 as the money has started to come through.

(See also The Times, July 28th 2003, p.1; Daily Telegraph, July 28th 2003, p.1)

WARM FRONT: HELPING TO COMBAT FUEL POVERTY

National Audit Office

London: TSO, 2003 (House of Commons papers, session 2002/03; HC769)

Warm Front is a scheme which aims to reduce fuel poverty in vulnerable households in England by improving the energy efficiency of their homes. The Scheme, which costs an average of £150m a year, provides grants for insulation and heating improvements to homes in the owner occupier and private rented sector.

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