Poverty: Children

Wales written question – answered on 11th July 2012.

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Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Pontypridd of 3 July 2012, Official Report, column 532W on poverty: children, what the number of children living in poverty in Wales was in each quarter of the last four years; and what estimate she has made of the likely number in each of the next three years.

Photo of Dame Cheryl Gillan Dame Cheryl Gillan The Secretary of State for Wales

The Welsh Government are responsible for many of the policies involved in tackling poverty, including child poverty.

Information on levels of child poverty in the United Kingdom and Wales, dating back to the three year period 1994-97 and up to the period 2008-09 to 2010-11, is included in the statistics on Households Below Average Income (HBAI). The latest HBAI publication was released by the Department for Work and Pensions on 14 June 2012 and is available at the following link:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/hbai/hbai2011/index.php?page=contents

Disaggregation by geographical regions is presented as three-year averages as single-year regional estimates are considered too volatile. Information for Wales in each quarter of the last four years is therefore not available.

The level of poverty is dependent on a number of factors which cannot be reliably predicted. While income is important, considering this measure in isolation fails to properly reflect the real experience of poverty. The Government are therefore developing more effective measurements of child poverty which will provide a more accurate picture in Wales and the UK. We will be launching a consultation seeking views on how to do this in the autumn.

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