30 million in UK unable to afford decent standard of living by 2024: Study
Thirty million people in the UK will be unable to afford what the public considers to be a decent standard of living by the time the current parliament ends in 2024, according to a study.
The New Economics Foundation, a left-leaning thinktank, said rising prices, below-inflation increases in earnings and projected increases in unemployment would result in 43% of households lacking the resources to put food on the table, buy new clothes or treat themselves and their families – a 12 percentage point rise compared with 2019.
The NEF said its calculation that by 2024 almost 90% of single parents and 50% of workers with children would fall below a minimum income standard showed the need for a radical overhaul of the welfare system.
The NEF definition of a decent living standard is based on work by another thinktank, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which asks people what they consider to be an acceptable minimum. The list covers eight categories: housing, domestic fuel, food and drink, clothing, household goods and services, health and personal care, transport and travel, and social and cultural participation.
Sam Tims, economist at the New Economics Foundation, said: “A decade of cuts, freezes, caps and haphazard migration between systems has left the UK with one of the weakest safety nets among developed countries.
“Millions of families were already living in avoidable deprivation and hardship but as we enter the greatest living standards crisis on modern records, the day-to-day experience of low-income families is set to become even more desperate.”
Official figures show that 22% of people in the UK are living below the poverty line because they are getting by on less than 60% of median household income.