§ Mr. Willetts
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of children in households with incomes below 60 per cent. of median income(a) before and (b) after housing costs (i) on the old equivalence scale and (ii) on the proposed new equivalence scale in the latest year for which figures are available. 
§ Mr. Pond
The information is in the following table.
Number of children below various thresholds of contemporary
income in 2002–03
Number (million) McClements Equivalisation (60 per cent. median) Before Housing Costs 2.6 After Housing Costs 3.6 OECD Equivalisation (60 per cent. median) Before Housing Costs 2.9 Notes: 1. The Households Below Average Income (HBAI) presents statistics on the proportion of children in low income households on both the McClements and modified OECD equalisation scales.
2. The modified OECD equivalence scale focuses on income before housing costs. We are adopting this income equalisation scale for the new long-term child poverty measure from 2004–05 so we can credibly benchmark our performance internationally.
3. The existing PSA to reduce by a quarter the number of children living in low income by 2004–05 uses the McClements Equivalence scale, and reports both before and after housing costs.
4. The Government recognises the continuing interest in results for income after housing costs. HBAI, a National Statistics publication, will continue to publish results both for income before housing costs, and for income alter housing costs. These will also continue to be published in "Opportunity for all". Copies of both documents are available in the Library.
Family Resources Survey.