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Wealth Distribution

Volume 706: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Answer by Lord Myners on 18 November (Official Report, House of Lords, col. 1011), what is the basis for his saying that 2 million people have come out of poverty since 1997. [HL117]

My statement was based on poverty indicators for different demographic groups which are included in Households Below Average Income (HBAI), published annually by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

From 1998-99 to 2006-07 the number of pensioners in relative and absolute low-income poverty has declined respectively by 900,000 and 1.9 million after housing costs. During the same period, the number of children in relative and absolute low-income poverty has declined by 600,000 and 1.7 million respectively before housing costs. Measures announced since Budget 2007 will lift around a further 500,000 children out of poverty.