A ‘socially acceptable’ lifestyle is defined as having enough money to eat a balanced diet, heat a home and run a car.
Researchers questioning 21 focus groups made up of pensioners, single people and working families found that:
- A couple with two children need to earn a minimum of £18,400 each before tax.
- Single people need to earn a minimum of £16,400 a year before tax.
- Single people with one child need to earn a minimum of £23,900.
- Pensioner couples need to earn £12,000 each.
The results suggest that families need to earn a third more than in 2008 to live within the ‘social norm’.
Families are being hit hard by a dangerous mix of rising costs and constant cuts.
Childcare costs have risen by a third since 2008, bus fares have doubled since the late 1990s and earnings requirements for benefits have increased substantially.
JRF chief executive Julia Unwin said: “Parents facing low wages and pressure on their working time have little prospect of finding the extra money they need to meet growing household expenses.”
A worrying number of working people face the risk of poverty in the near future.
However, director of think tank ASI Dr Eamonn Butler has dismissed the report as ‘mostly rubbish’. He believes the idea that anyone needs their own car in an age where public transport is immediately accessible is preposterous.
The government has said it is now making ‘tough choices’ to repair the country’s finances, with children taking the first priority.
For information on how an accountant can help with budgeting, please visit our Personal Finance page.
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