A new definition of disadvantage currently under consideration by the government could include children whose parents are divorced.
Secretary of State for Work and Penisions Iain Duncan Smith will today launch a consultation on expanding the definition of child poverty beyond low income. Other factors would also be considered, such as the education level of the parents, unemployment, school status – and particularly divorce and family breakdown.
In a speech released in advance of the launch to the media, Mr Duncan Smith says that income alone cannot give a full picture of disadvantage:
“There are many factors that impact on a child’s well-being and ability to succeed in life. Measuring income alone does little to represent the experience of those in poverty.”
Liberal Democrat Minister of State for Schools David Laws echoes the sentiments, saying in a pre-launch statement: “Traditionally we have defined poverty simply by income. But this is not enough. The experience of child poverty is about more than whether their family income this week is low.”
Currently child poverty is defined as living within a household with less than 60 per cent of the national average income.