Soon after it was elected in 1997, Tony Blair's ‘New Labour’ government became embroiled in a row about the implementation of cuts in benefits for lone parents that had been set in train by the outgoing administration. In the late spring of 2008, another huge row broke out over the treatment of those with low incomes. Huge damage had been done to the government's and particularly the new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown's, reputation for being on the side of the poor. These two events bracket the period covered in the book – one of sustained economic growth and low unemployment, which at the time of writing appears to have come to an end. This book brings together evidence on each of these domains with the aim of providing a balanced assessment of more than a decade of New Labour government.
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