Photo of David Laws

David Laws (Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Work & Pensions; Yeovil, Liberal Democrat)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many children were classified as living in poverty in each year from 1979–80 to 2005–06; what targets have been set for each year to 2020; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Margaret Hodge

Margaret Hodge (Minister of State (Work), Department for Work and Pensions; Barking, Labour)

In the mid to late 1990s, the UK suffered higher child poverty than nearly all other industrialised nations. Over the previous 20 years, the proportion of children in relative low-income households had more than doubled. As our first step towards eradicating this problem, we set an aim to reduce the number of children living in relative low-income households by a quarter by 2004–05. The data for this period will be released in 2006.

The PSA target set in the 2004 Spending Review is to halve the number of children in relative low-income households between 1998–99 and 2010–11, on the way to eradicating child poverty in 2020. As part of this, the Government will set an additional target in the 2006 Spending Review to halve by 2010 the numbers of children suffering a combination of material deprivation and relative low income.

The following table sets out both the percentage and the number of children living in households with an income of below 60 per cent. of the contemporary median, since 1997, which is most commonly used in reporting trends.

Percentage and number of children living in households with income less than 60 per cent. of median
Before housing costs After housing costs
Number (million) Percentage Number (million) Percentage
1979 1.7 12 1.9 14
1981 2.4 18 2.7 20
1987 2.6 21 3.1 25
1988–89 2.9 23 3.3 26
1990–91 3.2 26 3.9 31
1991–92 3.4 27 4.1 32
1992–93 3.5 27 4.3 33
1993–94 3.3 25 4.2 32
1994–95 3.2 24 4.2 32
1995–96 3.5 26 4.6 35
Percentage and number of children living in households with income less than 60 per cent. of median
Before housing costs After housing costs
Number (million) Percentage Number (million) Percentage
1994–95 2.9 23 4.0 31
1995–96 2.8 22 4.0 31
1996–97 3.2 25 4.2 33
1997–98 3.1 25 4.1 32
1998–99 3.1 24 4.1 33
1999–2000 3.0 23 4.1 32
2000–01 2.7 21 3.8 30
2001–02 2.6 21 3.7 30
2002–03 2.6 21 3.6 28
2003–04 2.6 21 3.5 28

Notes:

1.Family Expenditure Survey (FES) figures are for the United Kingdom, Family Resources Survey (FRS) figures are for Great Britain.

2.The reference period for FRS figures is single financial years.

3.FES figures are single calendar years from 1979–87, two combined calendar years from 1998–89—1992–93 and two financial years combined from 1993–94—1995–96.

4.Figures are based on the new grossing regime to give more accurate results, particularly at a regional level, and to scale to updated population estimates.

5.All publications listed are available in the Library.

Source:

Family Resources Survey (GB)

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