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Towards a more equal society?Poverty, inequality and policy since 1997$
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John Hills, Tom Sefton, and Kitty Stewart

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847422026

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847422026.001.0001

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More equal working lives? An assessment of New Labour policies

More equal working lives? An assessment of New Labour policies

Chapter:
(p.91) FIVEMore equal working lives? An assessment of New Labour policies
Source:
Towards a more equal society?
Author(s):

McKnight Abigail

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847422026.003.0006

This chapter considers the impact of New Labour policies on inequalities in the labour market, focusing in particular on the experiences of previously disadvantaged groups: younger and older workers, the long-term unemployed, lone parents, disabled persons, and women. While New Labour did not set out to reduce inequality in the labour market as a main policy objective, it has tackled inequality in employment rates as the result of a number of major policy objectives and through setting a range of targets. The three main targets are: to achieve ‘full employment’ through the Employment Opportunity for All agenda; to eradicate child poverty by 2020; and to reach a 70% employment rate among lone parents by 2010. While policies designed to meet these targets have had an impact on the unequal distribution of work across individuals and households, they have not addressed labour-market inequality in terms of earnings inequality.

Keywords:   labour market, unemployment, disabled persons, earning inequality

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