SOCIAL SECURITY – POVERTY – 29 November 1999

Dr Julian Lewis: Will the Minister [Jeff Rooker] depart for a moment from ploughing through his set text to answer the question asked by my hon. Friend the Member for Bromsgrove (Miss Kirkbride)? She referred to the increasing gap between the rich and the poor under this Government. Is it not a fact that the latest survey of households on below average income shows that the gap between rich and poor is increasing under this Government? Will he nominate – or will he even take a flier at guessing – which year the Government will succeed in closing that gap rather making it wider?