Hello Dear Reader,
That was us! Two children, two low wages and utterly skint! We had just enough money to feed and clothe the children, keep a roof over our heads and that was utterly it! On top of that I was at university and trying to keep going with about 25 paid hours work a week on minimum wage and DB working in a low paid job. God knows we tried!
It’s more and more the case that families are really struggling and the figures
(see here )
on the BBC today from the Minimum income standard are quite sobering.
You see we had a tomorrow, we had hope and there was work on the horizon when I got qualified. It took us a few years to get straight and then have savings but what if you don’t have decent qualifications, job skills or experience? Are you expected to live on the edge of poverty for years on end?
Is this going to be the new normal, the type of normal we saw when there was mass poverty? I know as a teacher, thousands of children have no access to any hobbies, activities, clubs, days out, regular clean clothes and have prepayment meters so if there’s no money for the electricity card or gas card then there’s often no hot water or cooked food. Is this going to be the new normal?
I think the figures below are a bit far fetched, I mean £80 a week on alcohol is a drink problem as far as I’m concerned! Personal services, like what? A window cleaner? Any who one earth can rent anywhere for £91 a week! I’ve looked up rents around here and they are on average £750 a month! As for buying a home? That’s a dream millions will now never aspire to achieve. Wages are frozen, a permanent contract is a dream and every month families are worse off than ever.
So, here’s my question, for millions of people, is living on the edges of poverty the new normal? Should it be the norm now for people to expect less? Are some of us the last generation to afford our own homes?
I’m interested in what you think and how people are faring in your neck of the world.
Your household – if you had two adult and two preschool children.
For a basic standard of living,
you and your partner each need to earn:
£21,055 per year
(£42,109 per year
giving a net income of £843.39 per week
So that your income, after tax and benefits adjustments, is enough to cover what the public think is needed for a minimum acceptable standard of living.
These calculations assume the household is eligible for benefits and tax credits, depending on its income.
Gas, electricity, etc
Personal goods and services
Travel costs and motoring
Social and cultural activities
Your Pre-tax Earnings
Your National Insurance
Partner’s Pre-tax Earnings
Partner’s Income Tax
Partner’s National Insurance
After Tax Earnings
Childcare Tax Credit
Income Support / Jobseeker’s Allowance