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Will the government hit its child poverty target in 2004-05?

Briefing note
This Briefing Note assesses the likelihood that the government will meet its child poverty target in 200405 in the light of decisions made in Pre-Budget Report (PBR) 2003. It updates the analysis presented in What Do the Child Poverty Targets Mean for the Child Tax Credit? An Update, IFS Briefing Note 41, which was written before PBR 2003.

We agree with the assessment in PBR 2003 that the government should comfortably meet its target measuring incomes before housing costs (BHC). It also concludes that the government is on course to just hit its target measuring incomes after housing costs (AHC). However, there are uncertainties in making these forecasts, not least because the government uses a survey of around 30,000 households to estimate child poverty in a population roughly a thousand times as large. We should know for sure whether the target has been hit in Spring 2006.

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