Skip to main content

Pensioners: Poverty

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioner households were in poverty in Enfield North constituency in each year since 1997. (235414)

Poverty is a complex and multidimensional issue and, as such, there are many possible measures of poverty.

Our public service agreement “Tackle poverty and promote greater independence and wellbeing in later life” includes a range of indicators related to low income for pensioners. These are relative low income (below 50 and 60 per cent. contemporary median household income), and absolute low income (below 60 per cent. of 1998-99 median income uprated in line with prices), all measured after housing costs have been taken into account.

The data source does not allow us to provide robust numbers for estimates below the level of Government office region. Information for London on the numbers of pensioners below each of these thresholds is given in the following table.

Number of pensioners falling below various thresholds of median household income, after housing costs, London

Million

Below 60 per cent. of contemporary median household income

Below 50 per cent. of contemporary median household income

Below 60 per cent. of the 1998-99 median household income uprated in line with prices

1997-98 to 1999-2000

0.3

0.2

0.3

1998-99 to 2000-01

0.3

0.2

0.3

1999-2000 to 2001-02

0.3

0.1

0.2

2000-01 to 2002-03

0.3

0.1

0.2

2001-02 to 2003-04

0.3

0.1

0.1

2002-03 to 2004-05

0.2

0.1

0.1

2003-04 to 2005-06

0.2

0.1

0.1

2004-05 to 2006-07

0.2

0.1

0.1

Notes:

1. Three survey year averages are given as regional single year estimates are subject to volatility.

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. The figures are based on OECD equivalisation factors.

4. Figures are based on survey data and as such are subject to a degree of sampling and non-sampling error.

5. Numbers of pensioners in low income households have been rounded to the nearest 100,000 pensioners.