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Poverty: Children

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps are being taken to reduce levels of relative child poverty in (a) Hemel Hempstead and (b) Hertfordshire. (249060)

We have made substantial progress in tackling child poverty. 600,000 children have been lifted out of relative poverty since 1998-99. As a result of the support we have introduced, families and children in the poorest fifth of the population are, on average, £4,100 a year better off than in 1997. The measures we announced in the pre-Budget report 2008 will increase this to £4,400 from April 2009. These measures will continue to benefit children in Hemel Hempstead and Hertfordshire.

In addition, Government measures over the past two years will result in lifting around a further 500,000 children from relative poverty. Our plans for reducing levels of child poverty in England were set out in “Ending child poverty: everybody’s business”, which is available in the Library.