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A More Equal Society? New Labour, poverty, inequality and exclusion

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John Hills|, Kitty Stewart (eds) 
Policy Press (12 January 2004)

'A comprehensive and authoritative analysis of what New Labour's welfare reforms have achieved to date.' Alan Deacon, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds

Although it has never declared a comprehensive 'war on poverty', the Labour government that took office in 1997 has introduced an extensive set of measures designed to counter poverty in childhood and old age and to address individual and area-based social exclusion.

A more equal society? brings together the expertise of a range of authors to provide an evaluation of Labour policy towards poverty and social exclusion between 1997 and 2004. It considers the challenges the government faced, examines the policies that were chosen and the targets set for them, and assesses results.

This book includes chapters on employment, inequalities in education and health, income inequality and political participation; asks how children, older people, poor neighbourhoods, ethnic minorities and other vulnerable groups have fared under New Labour; seeks to assess the government both on its own terms - in meeting its own targets - and according to alternative views of social exclusion; draws on the results of research carried out within the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion| (CASE) and on external evaluations.

The book will be essential reading for academic and student audiences with an interest in contemporary social policy, as well as for all those who would like an objective account of Labour's achievements as it approaches the end of its second term in office.

To read a press release on the publication, click here|


Press cuttings

Target areas
Three months before the election campaign, a team of 18 academics from LSE completed a 350-page audit of Labour's first two terms that examined equality in Britain entitled 'A more equal society?'. They concluded that Britain was becoming more equal also thanks to Labour's policies, but that the divide had increased between the top and bottom level income brackets. Labour has succeeded in lifting thousands of pensioners and children out of relative poverty, but the challenge is going to be tougher with less resources available. 

Blair's surprise successes (12 March 05)
Howard Glennerster on Polly Toynbee and David Walker's review of Labour's first two terms, Better or Worse? Reference to John Hills and Kitty Stewart did, in their book A More Equal Society?: New Labour, poverty, inequality and exclusion.