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Children

Volume 694: debated on Thursday 26 July 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What was the United Kingdom total government expenditure, as a percentage of gross domestic product, in 1997, 2001 and 2006, or the latest year for which there is information available on (a) child benefit; (b) children (estimated) within child tax credit and/or working families tax credit and/or family credit; (c) children (estimated) within income support expenditure for households; (d) children (estimated) within disability tax credit; and (e) other social security benefits specifically for children; and what is the total of (a) to (e) for the same years; and [HL5075]

What was the total cost in £billion and as a percentage of gross domestic product in 2006 of (a) child benefit, and (b) child tax credit; and what was the corresponding cost in 1997 of (i) child benefit, and (ii) family credit. [HL5080]

The UK child benefit expenditure, as a percentage of gross domestic product, for 1997-98, 2001-02 and 2006-07 was just under 1 per cent in each year.

Information on child tax credit expenditure in 2006-07 is published in the HMRC departmental annual accounts 2006-07, which is available on the HMRC website at:.www.hmrc.gov.uk/about/hmrc-accounts2007.htm. This will also include expenditure on the disabled child element, which is not available separately.

Information on expenditure on children within working families tax credit and family credit is not available.

Information on expenditure on children within income support is not available. Income support is the only DWP-administered benefit specifically for children.

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

What was the total number of children in the United Kingdom estimated to be in households in poverty, according to the European Union standard of less than 60 per cent of median household income, in 1997; 2001; and 2006, or the latest year for which there is information available. [HL5077]

The available information is in the following table.

Year

Number of Children (millions)

1997-98

3.4

2001-02

3.1

2005-06

2.8

Source: Households Below Average Income 1994/95-2005/06 (Revised)

Notes

1. Figures for the United Kingdom are available from 1998-99 onwards with estimates for Northern Ireland imputed for the years 1998-99 through to 2001-02. Earlier years are for Great Britain only.

2. Figures are calculated using 60 per cent of contemporary median household income equivalised using the OECD equivalisation scale.

3. The latest data available are for 2005-06.