Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Child poverty

There are fears that the target of eradicating child poverty in the UK by 2020 will be unachievable. - BBC news website.

As Government defines poverty as ‘household income below 60 per cent of median income’, child poverty can only be eradicated in the UK by 2020 by discouraging low income households from having children!

How will last week's budget increases in benefits and tax credits achieve this!?!


Anonymous said...

In the UK the official indicator of “poverty” is any household living on an income of less than half the average income.

It should immediately be apparent from this that, even if it were possible to bring all UK household incomes to within £100 per year of each other, there would still be households that were judged to be living in “poverty”.

Even if it were possible, by some means to ensure an average Household income of £1,000,000 per week, at today’s values, there would still be families living in “poverty” by this measure.

This results in the so called poverty line being a moving target and arguably set too high.

This means the Government is on a hiding to nothing when promising to significantly reduce “Child Poverty”. Furthermore they open the attempt to really reduce real poverty to ridicule.

Phil A

Daniel Lucraft said...

Let's be charitable. It just means that over half of households in the country need to be on *precisely* the same income. That's completely achievable with appropriate legislation.

Sadly I don't think they have the will.

Daniel Lucraft said...

Excuse me, I was unacceptably imprecise. Considerably more variation in incomes is possible than that.

And actually, Anonymous, you are not quite right. If all household incomes were brought within £100 of each other, then assuming the median income is greater than £250 there cannot be any households in poverty.

Anonymous said...

One comment speaks of average; one speaks of median, the term used by the government. Can someone tell us what is the government's actual definition of median income in the context of the policy under discusssion? Unless we know we can hardly discuss the matter. It would also be helpful to know what the government's present figure of median income is and how it is calculated. Is it calculated by reference to gross income or net income after direct deductions from income, namely income tax and NHI contributions? Soundbites from politicians and the news reports I have seen do not explain these matters. Maybe a reader who is an economist can assist.