ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BRIEF: Benefit families drop by one pc

The number of children in Great Britain living in families claiming state benefits has dropped by one per cent over the past year, government figures show. Statistics published last week by the Department of Work and Pensions reveal the number of children under 16, or between 16 and 18 but in full-time education, from families claiming benefit has fallen by 26,000 from 2.5 million between May 2002 and 2003. The figures are available from

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