Low-income Families

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 21st January 2004.

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Photo of Mr Andy King Mr Andy King Labour, Rugby and Kenilworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the equivalent thresholds to the absolute low income threshold of £210 per week for a couple with one child under 16 published in Measuring Child Poverty, of December 2003 are for (a) a couple with two children, (b) a couple with three children, (c) a couple with four children, (d) a lone parent with two children, (e) a lone parent with three children and (f) a lone parent with four children.

Photo of Mr Chris Pond Mr Chris Pond Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions

To measure whether the poorest families are seeing their incomes rise in real terms, we will monitor the number of children living in families with incomes below a particular threshold, which is adjusted for inflation. The level for a couple with one child under 14 published in Measuring Child Poverty is fixed as equal to our absolute low income threshold for the baseline year of 1998–99 expressed in today's prices.

Equivalent information for different family types is in the table.

Number of children under 14 £ per week
Lone parents
1 153
2 188
3 223
4 259
1 212
2 247
3 282
4 317


1. Figures are rounded to the nearest £1.

2. The £210 figure published in "Measuring child poverty" was rounded to the nearest £10. The amount for a couple with one child is presented here as £212, is rounded to the nearest £1 to allow clearer comparison to other family types.

3. Figures were arrived at using the current prices (mid year 2003–04) cash equivalent for these family types of the 1998–99 60 per cent. median income level, before housing costs and using the OECD Modified equalisation scale.

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