Britain’s living standards crisis is worse than official figures suggest, says TUC


Commenting on research published today (Friday) by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which shows that the cost of having a decent standard of living has soared by 25 per cent over the last five years, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

‘This report reveals the true extent of Britain’s living standards crisis. Hard-up families have seen their budgets squeezed far more than official figures suggest.

‘No wonder people are being driven into the arms of pay day lenders and into relying upon food banks for charity. Low-income Britain has gone way beyond having to do without small luxuries -even basic necessities have become unaffordable.

‘This research shows why Britain needs a pay rise. Unless we start to see real wage increases and decent welfare provision, consumer spending will remain weak and the economy will continue to struggle.’


– The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) findings are part based on the goods and services members of the public think people need in order to have a minimum acceptable standard of living. The JRF says that since 2008 the cost of the minimum income standard basket has increased by 25 per cent, compared with 17 per cent for the consumer prices index (CPI), the standard measure of inflation. The JRF says inflationary pressures facing low-income households are far greater than official measures suggest.

– The TUC published research this month which shows the UK’s overall pay packet was £52bn smaller last year compared to the eve of the recession in 2007, with total pay across some regional economies shrinking by ten per cent.

– More information about the TUC pay campaign is available at