Letter: Out of poverty?

Sir: The Chancellor the Exchequer claims in his budget speech that "With our measures 700,000 children will be taken out of poverty". There are, however, 1.5 million parents with 2.5 million dependent children struggling to live on income support or job seeker's allowance who are left "in poverty".

But how does he know he has got in right for the 700,000 children, whose parents have to be in full-time work to take full advantage of the Budget? Neither the Treasury nor the Department of Social Security has undertaken any research into the minimum incomes necessary to sustain essential needs, good health and social cohesion.

There are two points at which he can improve working families' tax credit, the level of income at which tax credits are not granted and the maximum tax credit. Having no measures of adequacy the Treasury does not have enough information to make the decision about what these levels need to be to take anyone "out of poverty".



Zacchaeus 2000 Trust

Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire