Pensioners: Poverty

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 30th March 2010.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what her most recent estimate is of the number of pensioners in poverty in (a) Coventry and (b) the West Midlands.

Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave to him on 1 March 2010, Hansard, columns 896-97W.

The Government use a basket of three key thresholds of income, after housing costs, to measure pensioner poverty. The most commonly used figures relate to those with incomes below 60 per cent. of contemporary median income, after housing costs.

Estimates of poverty, published in the Households Below Average Income series, only allow a breakdown of the overall numbers in poverty at Government Office Region level. Therefore, information is available for the West Midlands Government office region, but not available for the city of Coventry.

Three-year averages are used to report regional statistics as single-year estimates are subject to volatility. Figures are quoted to the nearest 100,000 and percentages are quoted to the nearest whole percentage point.

The latest information relates to the period 2005-06 to 2007-08 in which there were around 200,000 pensioners in poverty (18 per cent.) in the West Midlands Government office region.

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