Leading article: Attempts to 'make work pay' will not be enough on their own

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The Independent Online

Calculations that incomes will fall by seven per cent over the next two years are the gloomiest evidence yet of the so-called "squeezed middle". Worse still, the Institute for Fiscal Studies is also warning that a further 600,000 children will be pushed into poverty by 2013; and even with the gradual improvements expected thereafter, as many as one child in four may be living in poverty by 2020.

The Government says that radical changes to the benefits system will help by "making work pay". But such measures are of little use without enough jobs to go around.

The latest unemployment statistics, due today, are expected to show joblessness at a 17-year peak of about 2.6 million, of whom more than a million are young people. To make any headway in tackling child poverty – either now or in the future – the focus must be on job creation as much as on welfare reform.

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