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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-08127: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 16 March 2017

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-07685 by Angela Constance on 14 March 2017, what the estimated average income is that a household in poverty would require to move above the poverty threshold in 2014-15, also broken down by income decile, and whether it will publish these estimates.

Answered by: Angela Constance 30 March 2017

The relative poverty threshold after housing costs (AHC) in 2014-15 was £243 per week and the absolute poverty threshold AHC was £237 per week.

The median (middle) equivalised income AHC of households in relative poverty in Scotland in 2014-15 was estimated to be £172 per week. This household would require around an additional £70 per week of equivalised income to reach the relative poverty threshold.

The median equivalised income AHC of households in absolute poverty in Scotland in 2014-15 was £168 per week and so this household would require around an additional £65 per week to reach the absolute poverty threshold.

Half of households in poverty would require more than this and half would require less.

These are equivalised amounts and so relate to the additional income required by a 2 adult household. In order to allow comparison of incomes between households of different sizes and compositions, and to allow us to compare incomes of all households to a single poverty threshold, incomes are adjusted to make them equivalent to the income of a 2 adult household. However to understand the actual amount of additional money a given household would require it is better to look at unequivalised income.

The following table, table 1, shows the unequivalised figures for different household types. The table also shows the amount required by the middle income household in decile 1 and in decile 2. Not all households in decile 2 are in poverty and none of the households in deciles 3 to 10 are in poverty. Again different households in deciles 1 and 2 would require different amounts of additional income to reach the poverty thresholds.

Table 1: Estimated additional income required by households in poverty to reach relative and absolute poverty thresholds, 2014-15

Figures rounded to nearest £5

 

Relative Poverty Threshold

Absolute Poverty Threshold

 

All In Poverty

(£ Per Week)

In Decile 1

(£ Per Week)

In Decile 2

(£ Per Week)

All In Poverty

(£ Per Week)

In Decile 1

(£ Per Week)

In Decile 2

(£ Per Week)

Equivalised

70

125

20

65

120

15

Single person with child aged 5

55

95

15

50

90

10

Single person with children aged 5 and 14

85

150

25

80

140

20

Couple with children aged 5 and 14

115

200

35

110

190

25

Source: Households Below Average Income, DWP

New poverty figures for 2015-16 were published in March. The relative poverty threshold AHC in 2015-16 was £248 per week while the absolute poverty threshold remained at £237 per week. Table 2 shows the same figures as in table 1 but based on 2015-16 data.

Table 2: Estimated additional income required by households in poverty to reach relative and absolute poverty thresholds, 2015-16

Figures rounded to nearest £5

 

Relative Poverty Threshold

Absolute Poverty Threshold

 

All In Poverty

(£ Per Week)

In Decile 1

(£ Per Week)

In Decile 2

(£ Per Week)

All In Poverty

(£ Per Week)

In Decile 1

(£ Per Week)

In Decile 2

(£ Per Week)

Equivalised

75

135

30

70

125

20

Single person with child aged 5

60

105

25

55

95

15

Single person with children aged 5 and 14

90

160

40

80

150

25

Couple with children aged 5 and 14

120

220

50

110

200

35

Source: Households Below Average Income, DWP

The estimated additional income required varies from year to year, due in part to changes in households' circumstances and in part to the variation in the data which comes from a sample survey and so is subject to a degree of error.

We do not plan to publish these figures which are complex and difficult to interpret. A variety of other statistics on poverty in Scotland are published on the Scottish Government website.