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Housing

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the number of owner-occupiers in each income decile, broken down by region. (196544)

I have been asked to reply.

The available information, derived from the Department of Work and Pension's “Family Resources Survey” (FRS), is given in the following tables. Since the question does not specify whether the basis for income should be before or after housing costs have been deducted—both sets of figures have been determined.

Table 1: Number of owner-occupied households by equivalised income decile and region/country, before housing costs (3-year average, 2003-04 to 2005-06)

million

Region/country

Bottom decile

Second decile

Third decile

Fourth decile

Fifth decile

Sixth decile

Seventh decile

Eighth decile

Ninth decile

Top decile

All owner-occupied households

England

1.4

1.1

1.1

1.3

1.4

1.5

1.6

1.7

1.8

2.1

14.9

North East

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.7

North West

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

2.1

Yorkshire and Humber

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.1

1.5

East Midlands

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.1

0.2

0.1

1.3

West Midlands

0.2

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.1

1.6

East of England

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.3

1.7

London

0.2

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.2

0.3

0.5

1.9

South East

0.2

0.2

0.1

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.3

0.3

0.4

0.5

2.5

South West

0.2

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

1.6

Wales

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.9

Scotland

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

1.5

Northern Ireland

0.1

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.0

0.1

0.0

0.5

UK

1.7

1.3

1.4

1.5

1.7

1.8

1.9

2.0

2.2

2.3

17.8

Table 2: Number of owner-occupied households by equivalised income decile and region/country, after housing costs (3-year average, 2003-04 to 2005-06)

million

Region/country

Bottom decile

Second decile

Third decile

Fourth decile

Fifth decile

Sixth decile

Seventh decile

Eighth decile

Ninth decile

Top decile

All owner-occupied households

England

0.9

0.9

1.2

1.3

1.5

1.5

1.7

1.8

2

2.2

14.9

North East

0.0

0.0

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.7

North West

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.3

0.3

0.2

2.1

Yorkshire and Humber

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

1.5

East Midlands

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.1

1.3

West Midlands

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

1.6

East of England

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.3

1.7

London

0.2

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.2

0.3

0.5

1.9

South East

0.2

0.1

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

2.5

South West

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

1.6

Wales

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.9

Scotland

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

1.5

Northern Ireland

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.0

0.5

UK

1.1

1.0

1.4

1.6

1.8

1.9

2.0

2.1

2.3

2.5

17.8

Notes:

1. Averages based on three survey years are given because the sample sizes for individual regions for single years are too small to produce robust annual estimates.

2. The income measures used to derive the estimates shown employ the same methodology as the DWP 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.

3. The figures are based on OECD equivalisation factors.

4. The national median income of the survey year in question has been used (i.e. the contemporary median) instead of using a fixed median for a particular year. This is consistent with the preferred way of measuring poverty.

5. Owner-occupied households are defined as households that are either owned outright or are being bought with a mortgage.

6. Figures are given in millions rounded to the nearest 100,000 households. Some figures may not sum due to rounding.

Source:

Family Resources Survey 2003/04, 2004/05, 2005/06

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the number of owner-occupier households earning below 60 per cent. of median income (a) who are working and (b) who are unemployed in each region; and what his estimate is of the number of owner-occupiers earning below 40 per cent. of median income (i) who are working and (ii) who are unemployed in each region. (196545)

I have been asked to reply.

The most common and internationally recognised threshold to measure poverty is income below 60 per cent. of median. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) does not present information covering 40 per cent. of median income in our Households Below Average Income series as it is not a sound measure of poverty. This is because households stating the lowest incomes to the Family Resources Survey may not actually have the lowest living standards.

Specific information regarding low income for the United Kingdom is available in “Households Below Average Income 1994-95 to 2005-06”, published by the DWP. This annual report, which is a National Statistics publication, includes the number and proportion of individuals, children, working age adults and pensioners with incomes below 50 per cent., 60 per cent. and 70 per cent. of median income, and the proportion in persistent poverty.

The available information, derived from the DWP’s “Family Resources Survey” (FRS), is given in the following tables. However, it should be noted with regards to the information in the tables that robust estimates are not available for each individual region for owner-occupied households below 40 per cent. of contemporary median income because of small samples.

Although the question asks for the number of owner-occupied households who are unemployed, the tables show the number of workless households—the reason for this is given in note 7.

The question does not specify whether the basis for income should be before or after housing costs have been deducted—so both sets of figures have been given.

Table la: Number of working and workless owner-occupied households with less than 60 per cent. of contemporary median household income before housing costs, by region or country, three year averages, 2003-04 to 2005-06

million

Region/country

Working owner-occupied households

Workless owner-occupied households

All owner-occupied households

England

0.8

1.4

2.2

North East

0.0

0.1

0.1

North West

0.1

0.2

0.3

Yorkshire and Humber

0.1

0.1

0.2

East Midlands

0.1

0.1

0.2

West Midlands

0.1

0.2

0.3

East of England

0.1

0.1

0.2

London

0.1

0.2

0.3

South East

0.1

0.2

0.3

South West

0.1

0.2

0.2

Wales

0.1

0.1

0.2

Scotland

0.1

0.1

0.2

Northern Ireland

0.0

0.1

0.1

UK

1.0

1.7

2.7

Table 1b: Number of working and workless owner-occupied households with less than 60 per cent. of contemporary median household income after housing costs, by region or country, three year averages, 2003-04 to 2005-06

million

Region/country

Working owner-occupied households

Workless owner-occupied households

All owner-occupied households

England

0.9

1.0

1.9

North East

0.0

0.0

0.1

North West

0.1

0.2

0.3

Yorkshire and Humber

0.1

0.1

0.2

East Midlands

0.1

0.1

0.2

West Midlands

0.1

0.1

0.2

East of England

0.1

0.1

0.2

London

0.1

0.1

0.3

South East

0.1

0.1

0.3

South West

0.1

0.1

0.2

Wales

0.1

0.1

0.1

Scotland

0.1

0.1

0.2

Northern Ireland

0.0

0.0

0.1

UK

1.1

1.2

2.3

Table 2a: Number of working and workless owner-occupied households with less than 40 per cent. of contemporary median household income before housing costs, by region or country, three year averages, 2003-04 to 2005-06

million

Region/country

Working owner-occupied households

Workless owner-occupied households

All owner-occupied households

UK

0.4

0.5

0.9

Table 2b: Number of working and workless owner-occupied households with less than 40 per cent. of contemporary median household income after housing costs, by region or country, three year averages, 2003-04 to 2005-06MillionRegion/countryWorking owner-occupied householdsWorkless owner-occupied householdsAll owner-occupied householdsUK0.50.41.0 Notes:1. Averages based on three survey years are given, because the sample sizes for individual regions for single years are too small to produce robust annual estimates.2. 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.3. Income includes housing benefit, where applicable. Housing costs include rents, where applicable. This definition is standard international best practice.4. The figures are based on OECD equivalisation factors.5. The national median income of the survey year in question has been used (i.e. the 2003-04 median income is the basis of the results for the 2003-04 survey year) instead of using a fixed median for a particular year. This is consistent with the preferred way of measuring poverty.6. Owner-occupied households are defined as households that are either owned outright or are being bought with a mortgage.7. A household is defined as workless if no one within the household is classified as working. So ‘workless’ embraces all the ‘not working’ categories: unemployed, retired, student, looking after family/home, permanently sick/disabled, temporarily sick/injured and other inactive. DWP prefer to answer this PQ in a manner consistent with their publications. In any case, if they had limited the analysis to just ‘unemployed’, the sample size would have been too small to produce anything robust or meaningful.8. Within households, pensioners are excluded from the classifications if they are not working, and are included if they are working. For example, a household with a pensioner in work, but a working age person not in work, would be in the working households category. This is consistent with the definition of the economic status of the household used in the “Households Below Average Income” publication. 9. Figures are given in million, rounded to the nearest 100,000 households. Some figures may not sum due to rounding.10. This response includes a lower income threshold of 40 per cent. of the contemporary median income. The data for families with an income lower than 50 per cent. of median is not considered to be accurate as an indicator of living standards. Many of these households while having very low incomes would not be considered poor, but who do genuinely have few sources of income in the short-run. These figures are not National Statistics and caution must be applied because those people stating the lowest incomes in the FRS may not actually have the lowest living standards.Source:Family Resources Survey 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06.