§ Mr. Frank Field
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the baseline data was on which his Department's target to reduce the number of children in low-income households by at least 25 per cent. by 2004 was based; and what progress has been made. 
§ Malcolm Wicks
[holding reply 16 December 2002]: The target to reduce the number of children in low-income households by at least aquarter by 2004–05 is measured by the number of children below 60 per cent. of contemporary median income as reported in Households Below Average Income (HBAI) statistics. Baseline for the target is 1998–99 with 3.1 million children in low-income households before housing costs (BHC) and 4.2 million after housing costs (AHC). HBAI statistics show a fall of around 400,000 children between 1998–99 and 2000–01 (3.1 million to 2.7 million) BHC, and 300,000 (4.2 million to 3.9 million) AHC.
The Public Service Agreement target technical note, available on the internet, contains full details of how the target will be monitored.