§ The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mr. Andrew Smith)
I have published "Measuring Child Poverty Consultation: Preliminary Conclusions". Copies have been placed in the Library.
The Government issued a consultation document in April 2002 to promote debate on how best to build on their existing indicators to measure child poverty in the long term. The document published today outlines recommendations and next steps based on a thorough analysis of the responses to the consultation document and to events held with children and young people, and adults with experience of poverty.
Further technical work is necessary before finalising the precise details of any new measures for the long term.
We remain committed to our existing public service agreements. We have taken action to raise the incomes of all families, especially those on the lowest incomes, and we are making steady progress towards the Government's target to reduce by a quarter the number of children living in low-income households by 2004–05, with the impact of the new tax credits still to be felt.