Child Poverty

– Scottish Parliament written question – answered on 15th January 2002.

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Photo of Kenneth Gibson Kenneth Gibson Scottish National Party

Question S1W-18841

To ask the Scottish Executive how many children live in poverty according to the most recent figures available and whether it will show this figure using the headline measure recommended by the Statistical Programme Committee of the European Community.

Photo of Kenneth Gibson Kenneth Gibson Scottish National Party

Question S1W-18843

To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will detail the process by which it arrives at a figure for the number of children currently in poverty, including the method of calculation and any other factors which may affect the final figure.

Photo of Iain Gray Iain Gray Labour

The Social Justice Annual Report 2001 and its annex, entitled "Indicators of progress: definitions, data, baselines and trends information", were both published on 26 November 2001. They provide the latest data on the range of milestones used to measure child poverty.

We are making improvements in data collection in a number of areas relating to the Social Justice Strategy. As I noted during the debate on the Social Justice Annual Report on 29 November 2001, we are not in a position to give numbers regarding children living in low income households because of technical difficulties with the Department for Work and PensionsFamily Resources Survey data. We are investing £230,000 to double the size of the sample in Scotland and have agreed a programme to change the way they generate Scottish information, in order that we can produce more detailed income data.

A detailed description of the methodology used in calculating the low income figures is available in the Department for Work and Pensions’ annual publication Households Below Average Income. The 1999-2000 publication was published on 13 July 2001 and a copy is available from the Parliament’s Reference Centre (Bib. number 14722).

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