The figures revealed in the annual Households Below Average Incomes survey showed a staggering decline in incomes of the poorest households, Donald Dewar, Labour's social security spokesman, said. 'The poor have got poorer under the Conservatives. While average incomes for the population as a whole have risen by more than a third, the poor have seen their incomes fall in real terms. Inequalities have widened and the poor have received a declining share of national income.'
According to Labour's analysis of the figures, the poorest 10 per cent saw their share of the national income almost halved from 4 per cent in 1979 to 2.1 per cent in 1990-91; and the poorest half saw their share fall from 32 per cent to 25 per cent.