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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 November, 2004, 10:13 GMT
Poverty policies 'need rethink'
Homeless person
The report claims there are long-term weaknesses in social policy
Government policies to raise people out of poverty are only effective in the short term, according to a new report.

Research by the University of Bath for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation looked at benefits, tax credits and pensions.

The study said that while the policies have helped, they offer no guarantees of financial security.

Report author Dr Martin Evans said: "Long term weaknesses in social policy mean we are planning under financial uncertainty."

Financial uncertainty

He said that the only way people will have any certainty about their financial future is if the Government develops social policies which take into account lifetime perspectives.

"Limited guarantees to uprate benefits and credits in line with earnings mean that the relative value of support from the Government for the country's lowest earners will decline over the longer term," said Dr Evans.

The study also found that parents who are saving to avoid poverty in retirement could be increasing their children's risk of poverty.

Efforts by the Government to end child poverty by the year 2020 could be undermined if parents have to set aside considerable parts of income to save for their own retirement, the report states.

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