§ Dr. Harris
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what the change in average income has been since 1997; how the real income after housing costs of(a) the poorest 10 per cent. and (b) the richest 10 per cent. in the UK have changed since 1997; and what was the average income for (i) men and (ii) women in each year since 1997. 
§ Mr. Bayley
The latest available information is published in "Households Below Average Income" (HBAI) and relates to 1997–98 for Great Britain. In that year, mean income Before Housing Costs was £318 per week (in April 1999 prices), £277 After Housing Costs.
Median net equivalised household income of the bottom 10 per cent. of individuals, After Housing Costs, was £71 per week, and of the top 10 per cent. was £600 per week.
HBAI assumes that both partners in a couple benefit equally from the household income, and as a result both partners will appear at the same position in the income distribution. On that basis, mean net equivalised household income for men was £301 per week, and for women was £279 per week.
The Department's statisticians hope to publish the next edition of HBAI, providing information for 1998–99, in the summer of 2000.270W
- 1. All estimates are subject to sampling error.
- 2. The HBAI income measure is weekly net (disposable) equivalised household income (that is to say, income that is adjusted to reflect the size and composition of the household).
- 3. Figures for the bottom 10 per cent. should be treated with caution, as evidence suggests that those in the bottom decile do not necessarily have the lowest living standards.