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There’s Lives behind these Numbers – JRF publishes #MIS2012
THREE, four and 8.42 – these are the numbers that define the state of poverty in the UK today.
Three million more people fail to meet the Minimum Income Standard than did in 2008 before the Lehmans-driven financial crisis (the first year the Loughborough University research funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation was released.)
One in four of us do not earn enough for a decent standard of living.
And a working-age couple with two school-age children need to allow £8.42 each week so that they can buy each other birthday presents.
That last one brought it home to me – the lives that live behind the numbers, the stories that sit beside the stats – one in four of us do not have enough to buy our partners and our children a present for their birthdays.
The experience of never having enough demonstrably damages our self-esteem, health and our social relationships – the grinding poverty that too many of us experience saps our strength and our resilience, damaging the warp and weft of our shared social fabric.
Launched at 10pm yesterday, in time for the nightly news, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s annual Minimum Income Standards report holds some grim statistics.
You can find the full report, and a press release on the Minimum Income Standards website.
Since 2008, the researchers have tracked what the public agrees that we need, in order to have an acceptable standard of living.
The level of detail goes down to agreeing that an internet connection is essential, but only a moderately-priced service which includes free weekend and evening calls.
On birthday presents – remember that figure of £8.42 per week – the public agrees that an acceptable standard of living would enable the children to give presents, and the parents to give each other presents as well, but the children themselves account for the most spend in this category, an eye-watering £3.45 each week.
Read it, and weep.
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