Brown to resist calls for more spending

GORDON BROWN warned cabinet ministers yesterday against pressing for a relaxation of spending limits on the eve of the Government's first poverty report.

Ahead of tomorrow's publication of the poverty figures, the Chancellor made clear he would resist pressure for more spending and would slap down ministers who break ranks by publicly bidding for increases in their budgets. Mr Brown secured the backing of Tony Blair for the tough strategy on spending at last week's special cabinet meeting at Chequers, amid reports that he has pounds 10bn in his war chest for the next election.

The tough line on spending will be viewed sceptically by Labour's opponents, who expect Mr Brown to produce sweeteners before the election, but the Chancellor is keen to impress the City with his determination to maintain financial discipline.

Demands for higher spending are likely to be strengthened by the publication tomorrow of the report "Tackling Poverty: Providing Opportunity for All", which will set out 32 poverty indicators, including households below half of average income, numbers of children excluded from school and truanting, and the number of babies of low birth-weight born in poor areas.

Alistair Darling, the Social Security Secretary, and an ally of Mr Brown, hinted that there would be a shift from the old test of poverty, based on income levels, to focus more on living conditions, health, housing, education, and measures to improve standards rather than hand-outs for those reliant on benefits. Mr Darling said: "The Government is determined to tackle... poverty of opportunity, the poverty of expectations... not just income indicators, but education, health, crime and - importantly - employability too."

Pensioners, led by Baroness Castle of Blackburn, who protested in London at the weekend, are expected to take their appeal for higher pensions to the Labour conference. The Social Security Secretary said on the BBC On the Record television programme that the pledge to end child poverty within a generation would be extended to other groups of people. But that is unlikely to satisfy pensioners.

"We have raised the money going to the poorest pensioners," said Mr Darling. "What we are doing is dealing with the causes of poverty. That means getting people into work."

He refused to commit the Government to the more ambitious target of ending poverty for all. "It's very important that government is realistic about its objectives, and it should set out measures and indicators which can be achieved so that we keep focused right across the board on eradicating poverty."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers