Basic Costs a Burden for Families with Children

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

Families are struggling to make ends meet, a new report reveals, as 20 percent need to earn 20 percent more than they did last year to achieve an acceptable living standard.

The study was conducted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and highlighted the disparity between earnings and the basic cost of living.

The amount families need to achieve this basic standard has risen more so than for other groups such as single people.

A couple with two children for example need to earn at least £18,400 each if both work full time to be able to afford basic living costs.

“This report shows that the squeeze in living standards caused by the combination of rising prices and stagnant incomes is hitting people on low incomes hard,” said Donald Hirsch from Loughborough University’s Centre for Research in Social Policy.

“This is partly because the prices of certain essentials like food have risen, but also because of policy decisions that have reduced what families have to live on.”

Living costs have risen by about five percent in 2011, although families with children are feeling this more so than others. Typically they would have to earn at least 20 percent more this year than in 2010.

Changes to Child Benefit and tax credits have been a financial blow to many families.

A single person in comparison, with no dependents, only needs to earn £15,000 a year to meet the minimum income standard.

While families with a single earner needs gross earnings of £31,600, while a lone parent would need to earn £18,200.

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