Living Wage doesn’t cover families’ basic needs, charity research finds

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Created August 20th, 2018 by Alex Watts

Parents on the National Living Wage are still unable to earn enough to provide their family with even a basic, no-frills lifestyle, research suggests.

A single parent on the National Living Wage currently falls £74 a week short of the minimum income needed, according to the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG).

While, as reported by the BBC, a couple with two children would find themselves £49 short of what they needed.

The Minimum Income Standard

The CPAG’s definition of a “no-frills” lifestyle is based on the Minimum Income Standard, a set of criteria which calculates the amount of money a person needs for a base standard of living.

It looks at a number of essential costs such as food, clothes and accommodation, as well as “other costs required to take part in society”.

The research centre asks people drawn from a mixture of socio-economic backgrounds what they think a household should be able to afford in order to achieve an acceptable living standard.

Childcare was one of the biggest costs for people bringing up a family, with full-time childcare accounting for almost half the total sum.

Despite the worrying statistics, however, this is still better than last year, when couples were £59 a week short.

Government says improvements being made

The overall cost for a couple raising their first child also fell from £155,100 to £150,800.

The government believe fewer families are now living in absolute poverty.

A government spokesman added: “The employment rate is at a near-record high and the National Living Wage has delivered the highest pay increase for the lowest paid in 20 years, worth £2,000 extra per year for a full-time worker.”

The Living Wage came into effect in April 2016, and is £7.83 an hour for workers aged 25 and over.

The government say they aim to increase it to £9 an hour by 2020.


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