Middle Britain family faces £4,600 living standards gap by 2013

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Wages failing to keep up with inflation, tax and benefit changes and cuts in public services will reduce the living standards of a typical middle Britain family by more than £4,600 by 2013, according to a new TUC analysis.

In Unhappy Families, the first analysis of this living standards gap, the TUC has constructed four typical families. Their living standards are set to be hit by between six and ten per cent.

The analysis finds that:

  • an average income two earner family, living in the East Midlands with two children, will face a living standards gap of £2,000 this year – and a gap of £4,600 by the end of 2013
  • an average income single parent, living in London with two children, will lose the most (10 per cent of their salary)
  • a high income two earner family, living in the South East with three children, will lose the least (six per cent of their pay).

Living standards have fallen more than at any time since the 1970s and the Governor of the Bank of England told the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee in March that ‘I am surprised that the degree of anger hasn’t been greater than it has been.’

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “People should be angry at the effect that the crash and government policies are having on living standards.

“The wrong people are paying the price for what went wrong over thirty years and the coalition’s naive belief that they can put right the damage in just four years.

“As experts worry about a double-dip recession it is time to change course to invest in jobs, growth and getting the economy moving. This is the only sure way to repair the damage done by the crash.”

* Unhappy Families is available at www.tuc.org.uk/tucfiles/75/UnhappyFamilies.doc


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