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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 and what proportion of (a) children, (b) pensioners and (c) households fell below 60 per cent of contemporary median equivalised income (i) before and (ii) after housing costs between (A) 2007-08 to 2009-10, (B) 2008-09 to 2010-11, (C) 2009-10 to 2011-12 and (D) 2010-11 and 2012-13.

Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

It is not possible to determine the change in the number or percentage of households below 60% of contemporary median equivalised income between 2010-11 and 2012-13, as data are not yet available for 2012/13. As such this part of this question cannot be answered.

Figures for volume and proportion of children and pensioners below 60% of contemporary median equivalised income before and after housing costs between 2007-08 and 2010-11 can be found in the latest HBAI publication, available at the following link:

Relevant figures for children can be found in Table 4.1tr (on page 102) and Table 4.3tr (on page 104) and for pensioners can be found in Table 6.1tr (on page 206) and Table 6.3tr (on page 208).

The data requested for households can be found in the following table:

Number (millions) and percentage of households below 60% of contemporary median income, before and after housing costs
  Number (BHC) Percentage (BHC) Number (AHC) Percentage (AHC)
2007-08 5.1 19 5.8 22
2008-09 5.0 19 5.8 22
2009-10 4.8 18 5.9 22
2010-11 4.7 17 5.7 21
2011-12 4.7 17 5.8 21
Notes: 1. These statistics are based on Households Below Average Income (HBAI) data sourced from the Family Resources Survey (FRS) covering 2007/-08 to 2011-12. These use disposable household income, adjusted using modified OECD equivalisation factors for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living. 2. Net disposable incomes have been used to answer the question. This includes earnings from employment and self-employment, state support, income from occupational and private pensions, investment income and other sources. Income tax payments, national insurance contributions, council tax/domestic rates and some other payments are deducted from incomes. 3. Figures have been presented on a Before Housing Cost and an After Housing Cost basis. For Before Housing Costs, housing costs are not deducted from income, while for After Housing Costs they are. 4. All estimates are based on survey data and are therefore subject to a degree of uncertainty. Small differences should be treated with caution as these will be affected by sampling error and variability in non-response. 5. The reference period for HBAI figures is the financial year. 6. Numbers of households have been rounded to the nearest hundred thousand households. 7. Proportions of households have been rounded to the nearest percentage point. 8. Figures may not sum due to rounding.

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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