Blair area a poverty-free zone

briefing: Income
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The Independent Online
No employees in Islington North, the constituency where Tony Blair used to live, earns less than the likely level of the national minimum wage according to an analysis of the annual survey of earnings by the Office for National Statistics. It will come as a surprise to anybody familiar with Islington's pockets of poverty, but along with Bexleyheath and Fulham, the survey showed nobody who worked there earning below pounds 4 an hour.

By contrast, the parliamentary constituency with the highest proportion earning below pounds 4 an hour was St Ives, with 31.3 per cent below that level.

The introduction of a national minimum wage will help a higher proportion of employees in Wales than any other region. An article in the ONS's monthly Labour Market Trends shows that 9.5 per cent of Welsh employees earn less than pounds 3.50 an hour, compared to only 3.2 per cent in London and 6.3 per cent in the South-east.

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