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Poverty: Yorkshire and the Humber

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 10th July 2013.

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Photo of Hugh Bayley Hugh Bayley NATO Parliamentary Assembly UK Delegation, NATO Parliamentary Assembly (President)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many children in Yorkshire and the Humber were living in (a) absolute and (b) relative poverty in each year since 1995-96.

Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Three-year averages are used to report statistics by region and country, as single-year estimates are subject to volatility. Figures for relative and absolute low income for Yorkshire and the Humber since 1995-96 to 1997-98 up to 2009-10 to 2011-12 can be found in the latest HBAI publication, available at the following link:

Relevant figures for relative low income can be found in Table 4.17ts (on page 136) and for absolute low income can be found in Table 4.23ts (on page 142).

The current income measures in isolation do not capture the reality of poverty in the UK today. The absolute child poverty threshold is not a direct assessment of a child's needs. These measures are sensitive to where the poverty line is drawn and the measure used to adjust the poverty line. For example, in 2010/-11 the relative measure fell by 300,000 children, this was mostly because the average incomes across the UK fell and not because these children saw any changes in their circumstances.

We want to develop better measures of child poverty which include, but go beyond income to provide a more accurate picture of the reality of child poverty and drive the right action. Our consultation on how best to measure child poverty closed on 15 February. The complexity of the issue means that we need to take time to ensure we have the best option for measuring child poverty, so that we can ensure we properly tackle the causes. We will publish our response as soon as we can.

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