2% Fall In Child Poverty Figures

New official figures have revealed that the number of children living in poverty in the UK fell by 300,000 last year.

Figures for 2010/11, show that 2.3 million children (18%) lived in households classed as below the poverty line, a 2% decrease on the previous year.

The numbers are based on median incomes, which also went down in the same period.

The government however added that drug addiction, homelessness and unemployment should be considered as well as income when defining child poverty.

The government's own Households Below Average Income statistics define child poverty as children living in homes with 60% less than the median UK income.

The median is defined as the middle figure in a set of numbers.

The level of household income which defines "in poverty" fell from £259 a week, in 2009/2010, to £251 the following year.

The government, meanwhile, believes the current measure of poverty is too narrow and can be perverse because, if average incomes fall, the poverty line falls too.

In a speech later, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, will cite the example of drug-addicted parents who may be technically taken out of poverty by an extra pound but spend that money on another drug fix.

"Unless we find a way of properly measuring changes to children's life chances, rather than the present measurement of income alone, we risk repeating the failures of the past," he will say.


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