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GOVERNMENT PRESSED TO ADOPT ANNUAL INDEX TO MONITOR POVERTY

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The government has been urged to adopt a 'social exclusion index' to monitor its progress in tackling poverty and e...
The government has been urged to adopt a 'social exclusion index' to monitor its progress in tackling poverty and exclusion, reports The Financial Times (p13).

A report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published yesterday set out 46 'indicators' to help refine the government's own targets for reducing poverty.

These range from the number of people living on below half the average income, to the number of school exclusions, under-age pregnancies and children in young offender institutions.

Other areas covered include homelessness, depression, premature deaths and lack of access to a bank account.

The indicators, drawn up by the New Policy Institute, are proposed as the model for an official annual report showing whether existing trends are getting better or worse.

Peter Kenway, the institute's director, argued that a regularly updated report on poverty and social exclusion was 'essential if government and the wider public were to know what progress was being made.'

The Office for National Statistics should undertake the annual updates, Dr Kenway suggested. 'An offical but independent report on progress would underline the government's commitment to meeting these needs,' he said.

see LGCnet 16/12/98 'NEW INDICATORS SHOW EXTENT OF POVERTY AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION IN LATE 1990s'

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