Thursday, 8 July 2010

Low Pay and Inflation - why inequality is rising


Some new research this week showed that "In the last 10 years, inflation had risen by 23%, but key essentials cost 38% more".

This is concordant in with LEAP research on 'Essentials Inflation' last year, which showed the costs of essential goods had a higher inflation rate, which therefore disproportionately hits the poorest hardest. You can download the LEAP research on Essentials Inflation here.

This week's research into the cost of living was carried out by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (download here). It found that a single person in the UK needs a gross income of at least £14,400 in 2010 to live to an acceptable standard. This equates to a full-time hourly wage of £7.38 - which is over 20% more than the current national minimum wage of £5.80.

The national minimum wage, as LEAP has pointed out, has increased below the rate of inflation in recent years, leaving many of the poorest workers worse off.

It is no surprise therefore that inequality is increasing in the UK and is already at levels not seen since the 1930s.

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