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."
Exclusive: World’s most pristine waters are polluted by US Navy human waste
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Any terrorist seizure of the plane ‘would have required one hell of a piece of planning’
Croatia's second city to close 'worst zoo in the world' after reports of 'nightmare' conditions and 'depressed' animals
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Hijackers, pirates or suicide – the theories surrounding the mystery
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Q&A by Simon Calder: How far could it have travelled? Who was responsible and what would their plans be? And how can a plane just vanish?
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Exclusive: World’s most pristine waters are polluted by US Navy human waste
- 3 Nemanja Matic interview: My family were in tears when we left Lisbon
- 4 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Jet ‘hijacking’ began soon after take-off
- 5 'Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane found in Bermuda Triangle!' Facebook links are profiting hackers
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Charter Selection: This well respected and exciting...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Charter Selection: This exciting company and market...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + EXCELLENT SALARY: Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Cli...
£25,000 to £35,000: IT Connections Ltd: Signal Processing Engineer / Acoustics...