Excerpt from article:
Despite substantial increases in relative poverty since 1980 - an extraordinary growth by international standards whereby child poverty increased from 1:10 to 1:3 - when New Labour came to power in 1997 it had no anti-poverty strategy. Instead government officials stressed the need to tackle "social exclusion," a far wider set of challenges than income poverty.
Then, in March 1999, Tony Blair rather unexpectedly pledged to eradicate child poverty. Blair's pledge was seen as one of the most politically significant commitments of Labour's first term. Anyone who doubted his sincerity was reassured by the setting of more specific "public service agreements" to halve the child poverty rate in 10 years and reduce it by one quarter by 2004. This article examines the U.K.'s progress in reducing poverty.