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Northamptonshire Analysis
The authority on Northamptonshire statistics

Children in Low Income Families Update

04 May 2018

The latest HMRC Children in Low Income Families data (as at 31st August 2015, released 8Feb18) has now been uploaded to Northamptonshire Analysis.   Apologies for the delay, I unfortunately missed this coming out. This is the former HMRC Child Poverty Statistic.

WARNING : Before you use this data in any reports, there are some things in the HMRC national report about which you need to be aware.
.... The income threshold produced in 2014 was abnormally high resulting in higher percentages of Children Living in Low-Income families (the threshold comes from the Family Resources Survey). The decrease in 2015 percentages is due partly to the income threshold returning to more normal levels.
HMRC also highlight two national policy changes which have implications for the current methodology of these statistics :
....   The roll out of Universal Credit : "As families on UC are NOT included in the Children in Low-Income Families Measure, this measure no longer covers the whole population of children". HMRC further state, after analysing the detailed data for some districts which rolled out UC in the early stages, that "A potential movement downwards of around 600 children (assuming two children per household) can shift the poverty rate down by more than a percentage point. This shows that small movements in the numbers of children will affect the reliability of results. This issue will become worse over subsequent years as increasingly more people begin claiming UC.".
....   The High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) : The HICBC was introduced in 2013. Families affected by this change can either pay the tax charge at the end of each tax year or opt out of Child Benefit entirely. HMRC state "This has led to an overall decrease in the number of Child Benefit registrations and subsequently a gap in HMRC's data on the number of children residing in each area.   Furthermore, the number of families affected by this policy is highly correlated with the region's incomes, which further undermines the reliability of this measure.".

For more information about these last two issues, please see the HMRC Commentary 2015 (pages 11 and 12). The 2015 data for Northamptonshire should not YET be affected by the Universal Credit issue, as the first District in the county to move to UC was Daventry in 2016, but it is not clear what effect the HICBC changes might have within the county.

All this notwithstanding, the percentage of 0-15 year olds living in Low Income Families (LIFs) across Northamptonshire fell in 2015 to 13.5%. This is a ten year low, and below the national average of 16.8% (also a ten year low).  Amongst the county's boroughs and districts, the percentage of 0-15 year olds living in LIFs ranges from 17.1% in Corby to 5.7% in South Northamptonshire.

The top ten LSOA small area geographies in the county with high levels of Children in Low-Income families are spread across the county (4 in Northampton, 3 in Wellingborough, 1 apiece in Kettering, Corby and East Northamptonshire).   The top 3 (all above 40% Children in LIFs) are :
.... E01027334 Wellingborough 002E (Wellingborough : Finedon Road Ind Est, Nest Farm Cres, Fulmar Lane area)
.... E01027127 Kettering 005D (Kettering : Kathleen Drive, Washington Square area)
.... E01026968 Corby 006G (Kingswood : Dunedin Road, Vancouver Close, Kenilworth area).


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