16 July 1998
RDC claims Government ignores rural poverty

POVERTY is rife in the countryside because the government is ignoring problem areas hit by low wages and fewer job opportunities, according to the Rural Development Commission.

The government agency, responsible for promoting countryside employment and community projects in England, said rural areas were losing out on essential programmes and funding.

In the worst cases, men in predominantly rural counties earn nearly £100 less a week than the national average and women £62 less.

The commission urged ministers to include rural social and employment issues in the work of its Social Exclusion Unit which is investigating the problems of inner cities.

It has identified nine problem areas including Devon, Cornwall, Northumberland, the Isle of Wight, East Sussex, Shropshire, Hereford and Worcester, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire.

  • The Daily Telegraph 16/07/98 page 11