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Monday, 6 May, 2002, 08:37 GMT 09:37 UK
What a difference five years makes
Shoppers
Shoppers have more cash to spend under Blair
A punter buying a computer when Tony Blair and his New Labour Party swept to power in 1997 could have expected to pay 1,000.

But in 2002, as the premier celebrates his fifth anniversary in office, the average shopper can get one much more powerful for about half that much.


The typical price of an home in 1997 was 68,000 compared to 102,000 now

The figures, compiled for BBC One's Vote 2002 programme, also found that most Britons under Mr Blair's stewardship are better off than they were.

When Labour came in, 367 was the average weekly pay. It is now up to 444.

So what other things have changed for us in five years of Tony Blair?

House prices up

Well there are more of us for a start - about 60m in 2002, compared with 59m in 1997.

There are still more women than men despite female numbers going up by about a quarter of a million, while males have grown by nearly half a million.

Average earnings today can buy 21 more hamburgers than they could five years ago and 162 litres more petrol.

Tony Blair
Some changes are more subtle - a youthful looking Tony Blair in 1997

House prices have soared. The typical price of an abode in 1997 was 68,000 compared to 102,000 now.

The working week has reduced by an hour to 38 hours and more of us travel abroad.

When Labour came to power, half of us spent our holidays overseas and 11% of us had mobile phones.

Now 60% of us travel abroad and nearly three quarters of us have mobile phones.

But despite this freedom, more of us are likely to be in jail. Inmates numbered 68,000 when Mr Blair took over. Now there are 77,000.

Private healthcare

Labour's attack on crime is having mixed results - 274,000 violent crimes in 1997 and 438,000 cars stolen. Now there are 642,000 violent crimes a year, but car thefts are down to 373,000.

Meanwhile, it seems we are not turning into television addicts. Despite there being 366 TV channels now, compared to 40 in 1997, we still watch an average of 25 hours television a week.

Five years ago 9% of households were connected to the internet, now 42% are online.

Woman on mobile phone
More of us own mobile phones in 2002 than in 1997

But while 100,000 of us paid for our operations in 1997, now 250,000 pay for treatment.

There is no change in the percentage of people going to independent private schools - 6.9% in 1997 and the same figure now.

But enthusiasm for democracy is patchy - 30% of the whole electorate voted for Tony Blair in 1997. In last year's General Election, less than a quarter of all those who could have voted cast their vote for Labour.


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07 Nov 01 | UK Politics
02 Oct 01 | UK Politics
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