The Thick of It

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Islington dependent on benefits?

According to the Daily Telegraph, Islington South is one of the five constituencies most dependent on benefits in Britain. Another former home of mine, Manchester Central is the most dependent, with 49% of households dependent on benefits. Others in the list include Liverpool Riverside, Poplar and Glasgow North East.

The New Deal was a good start but more must be done to break the dependence on benefits and to help people back into work, provide affordable childcare where needed and give people the skills they need. No small matter of course.

It doesn't really surprise me when I think of Manchester Central and large parts of Islington South. What is galling is that both areas mix great poverty and wealth, wealth which clearly isn't filtering through to everyone.

A Labour London Mayor will help, with what might seem like small gestures making a huge difference to those on low incomes, these include concessionary fares on public transport for those on income support.

I'm waiting to see if any local politicians or media pick up on this...

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