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Liam Byrne MP, Labour's Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, responding to new figures on poverty and living standards, said:

“The devastating verdict is in – in just one year this Government has pushed a million people into absolute poverty and progress in tackling relative child poverty has completely stalled.

“All of Labour’s good work in tackling poverty is being washed away by a Tory cocktail of incompetence and indifference.

“What these figures show is living standards are collapsing to their lowest level in a decade, and that is forcing an extra 300,000 children to grow up in absolute poverty. Inequality has sharply risen and when families are under so much pressure it is outrageous that they will be almost £900 worse off this year thanks to tax and benefit changes yet millionaires are getting a tax cut.

“The way to get living standards rising not falling is to act now to create jobs and get our economy moving. The government should not have cut tax credits for people in work while cutting taxes for the richest people in society. And they should be helping the long term unemployed back to work with Labour’s compulsory jobs guarantee.”

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