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How has child poverty changed since 1998-99? An update

Brewer, M.; Goodman, A.; Shephard, A.; (2003) How has child poverty changed since 1998-99? An update. (IFS Briefing Notes BN32 ). Institute for Fiscal Studies: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

An additional 100,000 children were lifted out of poverty on the most commonly cited of the government's relative poverty measures between 2000-01 and 2001-02. The most recent figures show 3.8 million children (roughly 30 per cent of all children) in Britain in households with income below 60 per cent of the median income after housing costs. Although this means that almost one in three children in Britain live in poverty on this definition, this is the lowest level recorded since 1991. Since the Labour government came to power, the total drop in the numbers in child poverty has been around 500,000. In 1998-99, the government set a target for child poverty in 2004-05. If the rate of decline in child poverty observed since 1998-99 continues for three more years, then the government will miss this target. Indeed, it is now further behind schedule than it was based on figures from 2000-01. The rather slow decline in recorded child poverty is due, in large part, to the fact that the government is targeting relative, rather than absolute, poverty. Income growth has been particularly strong across society since 1998-99, and this means that the poverty line has risen significantly over this time. Although the government is continuing to increase the living standards of low-income households with children, the gap with the rest of society is not closing as fast as the government would like. Rectifying this may require additional resources to be directed to families with children in the forthcoming Budget, on top of measures already announced.

Type: Report
Title: How has child poverty changed since 1998-99? An update
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/1780
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/14862
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