HC Deb 14 March 2001 vol 364 cc607-8W
Mr. Evans

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many(a) people and (b) children were living in poverty in Lancashire in (i) 1997, (ii) 1998, (iii) 1999, (iv) 2000 and (v) 2001. [153167]

Mr. Bayley

Poverty and social exclusion are complex multi-dimensional issues, affecting many aspects of people's lives—including income, health, housing, the quality of their environment and opportunities to learn. There is no single measure that can capture the complex problems that need to be overcome.

However, a number of these aspects have seen significant improvement in Lancashire since 1997. For example, the number of unemployed people in Lancashire has fallen by around 10,000, from nearly 27,000 in January 1997 to around 16,000 in January 2001. Between 1997 and 2000 the number of children in families in receipt of out of work benefits has fallen from nearly 50,000 to around 46,000. The proportion of 11-year-olds achieving level 4 or above at Key Stage 2 has risen in English from 68 per cent. in 1998 to 76 per cent. in 2000 and in mathematics from 63 per cent. in 1998 to 74 per cent. in 2000.

The annual report "Opportunity for all", available in the Library, sets out and monitors the Government's strategy for tackling poverty and social exclusion.


Unemployment figures based on claimant count information.