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Volume 448: debated on Tuesday 4 July 2006

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department has taken to reduce poverty in Yeovil constituency since 1997. (82147)

The Treasury has, in partnership with other Government Departments, tackled poverty and promoted economic opportunity through:

Promoting macroeconomic stability

Supporting work for those who can and ensuring that work pays, through the new deals, a national minimum wage and the working tax credit

Providing financial support for groups at particular risk of poverty, such as child benefit and the child tax for families, and the pension credit for pensioners.

Across the UK, these measures have helped lift more than a million people out of poverty since 1997. Tax credits are benefiting more than 380,000 families in the South West region, and in Yeovil claimant unemployment has fallen by over 50 per cent., youth unemployment has fallen by 67 per cent. and long-term unemployment has fallen by over 90 per cent.