Family incomes 'need to be 20% higher'

Price inflation and child benefit changes are increasing the incomes needed by families when budgeting to maintain minimum living standards, a new report indicates.          

Parents currently require earnings of £18,400 each in order to support a family of two children, according to Joseph Rowntree Foundation research authored by Donald Hirsch from Loughborough University's Centre for Research in Social Policy.

Compared to the same period of last year, family earnings now have to be 20% greater on average to ensure minimum living standards are met.

Highlighting some of the factors that have led to this development, Mr Hirsch said: "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."  

He added that those on lower levels of income in particular are being hit by relatively flat incomes and increases in product prices.

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