Children: Poverty

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 27th May 2021.

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Photo of Ian Lavery Ian Lavery Labour, Wansbeck

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate she has made of the level of child poverty in (a) England and (b) Wansbeck.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

This Government is wholly committed to tackling poverty. Throughout the pandemic, our priority has been to support the most vulnerable including through spending an additional £7.4billion to strengthen the welfare system, taking our total expenditure on welfare support for people of working age to an estimated £112 billion in 2020/21. Additionally, in December 2020 we introduced our Covid Winter Grant Scheme, providing funding to Local Authorities in England to enable them to support people with food and essential utility bills during the coldest months. It will now run until June as the Covid Local Support Grant, with a total investment of £269m.

National Statistics on the number and percentage of children in low income are published annually in the “Households Below Average Income” publication. Data for Wansbeck is unavailable due to insufficient sample size.

Latest statistics for the levels of children who are in low income in England, covering 2019/20, can be found at:,“children-hbai-timeseries-1994-95-2019-20-tables” in table 4.16ts (relative low income, before and after housing costs) and in table 4.22ts (absolute low income, before and after housing costs).

In the three years to 2019/20, the absolute child poverty rate, before housing costs, in England was 18%, down 3 percentage points since the three years to 2009/10.

The Department now publishes supplementary official statistics on the number of children in low income families at constituency level. Children in Low Income Families data is published annually.

In 2019/20 the absolute levels of child poverty, before housing costs, in Wansbeck was 22%. The latest figures on the number of children who are in low income in Wansbeck and in England, covering 2019/20, can be found at:

Due to methodological differences, the figures in these two publications are not comparable.

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