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Standard of living income falls


The income needed for an acceptable standard of living has fallen for families in the past year, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).

A couple with two children need a combined income of £20,024 for a minimum living standard. This has worked out at £263 lower than the same time last year, but people who are on minimum wage still came out with a shortfall of £74 a week.

Single parents would need an income of £26,725 to have an acceptable standard of living this year. Last year the figure stood at £27,073.

The JRG set a benchmark for an acceptable standard of living by gathering information from focus groups. Among the things that are considered essential are a computer and internet access in the home.

Single people were the only group to see their minimum income requirement fail to fall. In 2015, it stood at £17,102, up slightly from £17,072 in 2014. Rent rises cancelled out any kind of taxation cuts or fall in food prices due to deflation.

Julia Unwin, chief executive of the JRF, said:
"After seven years of declining living standards, the pause in rising costs is a very welcome respite.

"But many low-income households are still much worse off than in 2008, leaving them struggling to make ends meet and reliant on benefits to top up their incomes."

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