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Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of children there were in families in work earning less than the average national weekly income in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
We have presented the number and proportion of all children who are in families in work in households with incomes below the median household income. This is in line with the Households Below Average Income publication.
|Number and proportion of all children who are in families in work with below median household incomes|
|Before housing costs||After housing costs|
|Coverage||Number (Million)||Percentage below median income||Number (Million)||Percentage below median income|
1. These statistics are based on Households Below Average Income data, which are sourced from the Family Resources Survey.
2. The reference period for Household Below Average Income figures is single financial years.
3. Up to 2005-06, a child was defined as anyone aged under 16 or anyone aged 16 to 18 who is not married, in a civil partnership nor living with a partner, who is living with parents and who is in full-time non-advanced education or unwaged Government training. From 2006-07, this definition was extended to include 19-year-olds fulfilling these conditions to be in line with child benefit eligibility.
4. The income measures used to derive the estimates shown employ the same methodology as the Department for Work and Pensions publication Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series, which uses disposable household income, adjusted (or equivalised) for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living.
5. Net incomes have been used to answer the question. This includes earnings from employment and self-employment, state support, income from occupational and private pensions, investment income and other sources. Income tax payments, national insurance contributions, council tax/domestic rates and some other payments are deducted from incomes.
6. The median income is the income of the middle person in the population, such that half the population have incomes below the median and half the population have incomes above the median. The median is used instead of the mean income because the mean is affected by outlying cases with very high income values. This is consistent with relevant public service agreement indicators and the Households Below Average Income publication.
7. The figures are based on OECD equivalisation factors.
8. Figures have been presented on both a before housing cost and after housing cost basis. For before housing cost, housing costs (such as rent, water rates, mortgage interest payments, structural insurance payments and ground rent and service charges) are not deducted from income, while for after housing cost they are. This means that after housing cost incomes will generally be lower than before housing cost.
9. Number of children have been rounded to the nearest 100,000 children, while proportions of children have been rounded to the nearest percentage point.
10. Small changes should be treated with caution as these will be affected by sampling error and variability in non-response.
11. A working family has been defined as one where at least one adult is in work, either through being self-employed, working full-time or working part-time.
12. Families are defined as a single adult or couple living as married and any dependent children, including same sex couples (civil partnerships and cohabitees) from January 2006. A household is made up of one of more families.
Households Below Average Income, DWP
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what type of sanctions were available in respect of each New Deal scheme in each year since 1997; how many sanctions of each type were imposed in each year; and how many were subsequently (a) retracted and (b) commuted. 
Mr. Timms: A sanction can only be imposed in relation to mandatory new deal schemes. These are new deal for young people and new deal 25 plus. New deal for musicians is a voluntary option within each of these two schemes. New deal for lone parents, new deal for disabled people and new deal for partners are voluntary programmes and benefit sanctions are not applied to these programmes.
lose their place on a programme because of misconduct,
give up or refuse to attend a programme,
fail to apply for or accept a place on a programme,
neglect to avail themselves of a place on a programme.
These sanctions are for a fixed period of two weeks, rising to four weeks and then 26 weeks for repeat occurrences within the previous 12 months. The two week and four week sanctions have been in place since the introduction of the mandatory new deal schemes in 1998. The 26 week sanction was introduced in April 2001.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) Ministers and (b) officials from his Department plan to attend the Beijing Olympic Games; to what purpose in each case; and what estimate he has made of the cost. 
Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will place in the Library a copy of the responses received by his Department during the consultation exercise conducted between 28 October and 23 December 2003 on the implementation of the European Directive on the Activities and Supervision of Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision, relating to the application of Article 8 of the Directive to the Local Government Pension Scheme; 
(2) if he will place in the Library a copy of the responses received by his Department during the consultation exercise conducted between 28 October and 23 December 2003 on the implementation of the European directive on the activities and supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision, relating to the application of Article 18 of the directive to the local government pension scheme; 
(3) if he will place in the Library a copy of the responses received by his Department during the consultation exercise conducted between 28 October and 23 December 2003 on the implementation of the European Directive on the Activities and Supervision of Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision, relating to the exemption of the Local Government Pension Scheme from the requirements of Articles 9 to 17 of the Directive. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien:
I am advised that we have received no responses specifically concerning the implementation of the European directive on the activities and supervision of Institutions for occupational retirement provision
relating to the application of Articles 8, 18 and 5 (exclusion from the requirements of Articles 9 to 17) of the directive to the local government pension scheme. However, copies of all the responses received by the Department during the consultation exercise relating to the general implementation of Articles 8,18 and 5 have been placed in the Library. A copy of the original consultation document has also been provided together with a copy of the Government's summary response to the consultation.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of children were in relative poverty (a) before housing costs and (b) after housing costs in each year since 1997, broken down by age. 
|Number and proportion of children in households below 60 per cent. of median income by age group (before housing costs)|
|Number of children (million)|
|Age of child|
|Coverage||0 to 4||5 to 10||11 to 15||16+||All|
|Proportion of children (percentage)|
|Age of child|
|Coverage||0 to 4||5 to 10||11 to 15||16+||All|
| Source: Households Below Average Income, DWP.|
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