In the UK, as in many European countries, poverty is officially defined as living on less than 60% of the average household income after tax. The typical UK family of two parents + two children now earns £31,000. That makes the poverty threshold for 2015 about £18,600. (Or c. £16,000 for two parents + one child, c. £14,200 for one parent + two children, and c. £11,500 for one parent + one child.)
Using this definition the figure for children living in poverty in Torfaen is actually 17.45%.
To illustrate how it all works I decided I would use our household income as an example. My hatred of maths soon made me regret the decision, but I stubbornly stuck to the plan -
Our main income is my wage, £13,175 before tax. (The IRPW - Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales - basic rate is actually now £13,868 but the Torfaen Labour group, like many other councillors, chose to turn down the increase. Yeah, it was pretty painful...) After tax it's c. £12,050 - I used THIS tax calculator.
Then we have:
Child Benefit - £1,076.40 (£20.70 x 52) [not taxable]
Child Tax Credit - £2,780 [not taxable]
Carer's Allowance - £3,229.20 (£62.10 x 52) [not taxed]
JSA [after Carer's Allowance deductions] - £2,371.20 (£45.60 x 52) [not taxed]
Our housing costs us £6,000 (£500 x 12), which gives us AHC income of £16,631.80 before tax or £15,506.80 after tax, putting us (and, by association, Marianna) under the poverty threshold. I was a bit surprised to be honest as I thought we'd be over, but I probably hadn't been taking tax into consideration.
Still, what I hope this shows is the relatively wide variance between the two methods. In terms of my own example, in AHC poverty there's not much leeway, but we're okay so long as we budget properly. BHC poverty is a more serious problem - we spent some time there and it was nigh impossible to cover the basics, let alone fancy luxuries like bus fares and the TV licence. Nobody really wants to be in either, obviously, but it is useful to bear the distinction in mind when figures are being bandied about because the two are quite different.