Select Committee on Work and Pensions Written Evidence

Annex B




  Reduce the number of children in low-income households by at least a quarter by 2004, as a contribution towards the broader target of halving child poverty by 2010 and eradicating it by 2020. Joint target with HM Treasury.

Technical Note

  The target for 2004 will be monitored by reference to the number of children in low-income households by 2004-05. Low-income households are defined as households with income below 60% of median, as reported in the annual Households Below Average Income (HBAI) statistics published as National Statistics by the DWP.[527] HBAI outturn data for 2004-05 will be available in early 2006.[528]

  HBAI statistics cover Great Britain. Progress will be reported against the 1998-99 baseline figures and methodology. The baseline is 4.2 million after housing costs and 3.1 million before housing costs. Progress is measured against both baselines. In addition to this relative measure HBAI also looks at the number of children in low-income households in both absolute and persistent terms.

  A child is defined as any individual aged under 16 or an unmarried 16 to 18 year old on a course up to and including "A" level standard (or "Highers" in Scotland).

  Reducing the number of children in low-income households by 2004 is just one of the targets the Government has set to ensure it is on track to eradicate child poverty within 20 years. Further targets, including worklessness, quality of housing, education and health, are set out in the Government's annual report into poverty and social exclusion—Opportunity for all.[529]

  For the longer term, DWP will publish preliminary conclusions of their consultation on indicators (set out in Measuring Child Poverty) by spring 2003 after a full analysis of the responses and technical implications. Work stemming from this consultation will ensure that improvements to measurement underpin better policy making and promote greater accountability as we make progress towards our longer-term goals.

526 This Technical Note is presented here in its original form for reference, so some statements may be out of date. Back

527 Back

528   HBAI only reports financial year data. Back

529 Back

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