Out of Work Face Sharply Declining Living Standards as Tories Punish Unemployed.
Single Unemployed to only Get 35% of what they Need by 2020.
Jobseekers ‘face dip in living standards’ reports the BBC.
Before beginning this we note that the JSA benefit, with Employment and Support Allowance, some types of Housing Benefit, and Child Benefit is now frozen for four years.
This means that everybody on the main benefits for the out of work will suffer a declining living standard: the biggest cut in their incomes comes from the need to pay a percentage of Council Tax (the amount varies across the country), sharply rising public transport fares, the hikes in energy costs by the private monopolies, and the slow accumulation of debts that arise from having to pay for essentials (clothes to start with, household goods) that are not covered by the miserly levels of benefits.
Today sees the publication of this report: Will the 2015 Summer Budget improve living standards in 2020?
“Donald Hirsch from Loughborough University, uses JRF’s Minimum Income Standard (MIS) to track how the living standards of low-income households will change by 2020. The report is based on what the public say is necessary for a minimum socially acceptable standard of living.”
One thing stands out to Ipswich Unemployed Action: it is acknowledged that the future looks even bleaker for the single unemployed:
A single person who claims out-of work benefits will get 35 per cent of what they need in 2020. This will mean they are £118 short per week, compared to £107 short in 2010 (41%) and £110 short (40%) today
That is without taking into account the impact of sanctions which affects hundreds of thousands of people (900,000 in 2014).
The BBC presents the report:
Out-of-work couples with children face “a decade of sharply declining living standards” owing to changes made to benefits, anti-poverty campaigners say.
A jobless couple with two children will be £221 short of what would be needed for an acceptable standard of living every week by 2020, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).
Pensioners, in contrast, will have £15 more a week than the minimum level.
The calculations are based on JRF’s estimate of an acceptable income level.
Research for the Foundation suggested that families with two parents in full-time employment, workers without children, and pensioners would typically become better off over the next five years owing to the changes made in Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget in July.
Lone parents and families with more than two children would see their living standards stagnate or fall, it claimed.
“The summer Budget has transformed the relationship between pay, benefits and work incentives. The National Living Wage is a game changer for some on low incomes as the new, higher rate will make work pay for more people,” said Julia Unwin, the JRF’s chief executive.
“But the wage rise comes hand in hand with changes to in and out of work benefits. Families will only be able to make ends meet if they have two parents in full-time work, but those who are able to find extra work will face a difficult juggling act as they try and make longer hours fit around family life.
“Lone parents, even those working full time, and people who are searching for work face a decade of sharply declining living standards.”
Immediately after the Budget, the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said that 13 million UK families would lose £260 a year on average owing to the Budget’s tax and benefits changes.
The Guardian’s angle on the same story begins with the latter,
Single parents on low incomes face declining living standards over the next five years even if they work full time, as benefits cuts announced in the budget more than offset the introduction of George Osborne’s “national living wage”, according to new research.
Separate TUC research, also published on Monday, underlines the fact that despite the minimum wage rise, the biggest winners from the budget package will be the richest 10% of households, who it finds will be £780 a year better off by 2020, as a result of changes including inheritance tax cuts.
The TUC’s general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “We need a recovery that works for everyone, not just those at the top. But by cutting support for low paid families, despite a growing economy, the government is shutting them out of the recovery. And worse than that, it’s also giving rich households a tax break by taking support away from the low paid.”
More of the Guardian story here.