Britons struggling due to ‘inadequate incomes’

There has been a significant increase in the number of households being forced to live on incomes below what they need.

A study by the Joseph Rownt…

There has been a significant increase in the number of households being forced to live on incomes below what they need.

A study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) discovered that in the last three years, those unable to afford an adequate standard of living has increased by a fifth (900,000) from 3.8 million to 4.7 million.

Changes to benefits, a hike in energy bills, job uncertainty and the onset of the recession were all advanced as reasons for this situation, which demonstrates how perilous a position many consumers are facing. 

Families with children are the most likely to fall below the standard – single parents are the worst off.

Katie Schmuecker, policy and research manager at JRF, said many people have encountered downward pressures in the past few years. "For those on low and modest incomes, more are having to make tough choices about what essentials to go without," she added.

Donald Hirsch, co-author of the report, said: "Young people, single people and people in private rented housing have done particularly badly. A whole generation of young adults are noticeably worse off as a result of the deterioration in their job prospects, a worsening of housing options and falls in real wages and benefits, making it harder for young people to be independent."

Under-35s are finding the going particularly tough, as they are much more likely than any other age group to be struggling financially. Indeed, 25 per cent of individuals are living on an extremely low income.

Londoners are finding it the toughest going, which is partly attributable to the high childcare and housing costs associated with the living in the capital. 

If people do not have enough disposable income, debt worries could become a real concern as they'll be forced to rely on unsecured lending in order to get by. 

By James Francis 

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