Life has become a whole lot harder for those families her government purported to serve. A couple with two children must now earn over £40,000 between them if they are to live comfortablyby Campbell Robb / July 10, 2017 / Leave a comment
Almost a year ago today Theresa May stood on the steps of No 10 and pledged to put her government at the service of families who are “just about managing”: “I know you’re working around the clock, I know you’re doing your best, and I know that sometimes life can be a struggle.”
Twelve months on, it’s worth reflecting on that promise and asking how the millions of families in this boat are faring. The answer is emphatic: just managing is just getting harder. A working couple with two kids need to earn £20,400 each (over £40,000 between them) to reach the Minimum Income Standard, an annual barometer on living standards.
Based on what members of the public think you need to enjoy a decent standard of living, it covers the essentials but also the things you need to participate in society. An occasional meal out, a small birthday gift for someone in the family, a short self-catering break to the seaside.
Our analysis shows working parents have found it ever harder to reach this standard. This is despite a 4 per cent rise in the National Living Wage (NLW) and tax cuts from a higher personal tax allowance. Economic headwinds have caused the most damage, driving up the cost of living.