Brown to resist calls for more spending
Monday 20 September 1999
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."
- 1 Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
The one chart that shows how George Osborne is almost certainly going to be our next Prime Minister
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...
£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...