HL Deb 30 April 2003 vol 647 cc111-2WA
Earl Russell

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the new measure of child poverty mentioned in paragraph 5.9 of the Budget report (HC500) will attempt to assess the numbers on levels of poverty below 40 per cent of average income; and, if not, why not. [HL2560]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Hollis of Heigham)

The Government launchedMeasuring child poverty: a consultation document in April 2002 to gather views on an appropriate measure of child poverty for the long term. This consultation was very well received and preliminary conclusions will be published in late spring 2003. Further technical work, with experts in the field will be necessary before finalising the detail of any new measure.

Various low-income thresholds are already monitored through my department's Households Below Average Income series. This reports on the proportions of people living below 40 per cent, 50 per cent and 60 per cent of average (mean) income, as well as below 50 per cent, 60 per cent and 70 per cent of median income. This series is published under national statistics and is not subject to change through our consultation on child poverty.