The Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s annual Minimum Income Standard (MIS) for the UK shows that after a decade of austerity, many households with low incomes both in and out of work are being held back from reaching MIS.
MIS is based on what the public think we all need for a decent minimum living standard. This year’s update shows that:
- Even if people work full time on wages that have been improved in the past four years, they may still be being held back from what they need.
- One reason so many families are falling further behind is because of rising costs.
- The key problem is not rising costs but the failure of incomes to keep up with these costs. On their own, higher minimum wages are not systematically bringing families closer to MIS, even if they work full time. This is because real-terms cuts in in-work benefits are holding people back.