Families now need an income of £36k to live comfortably

New study shows that families need to earn £36,800 a year to have a 'socially acceptable' standard of living

A couple with two children now need to have a minimum income of £36,800 a year to have a ‘socially acceptable’ standard of living, according to an anti-poverty charity.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation said its annual minimum income study suggests families must earn a third more than in 2008.

They blame rising childcare and transport costs, combined with benefits cuts which are hitting families hard.

The minimum income standard (MIS) study – commissioned by the charity from the social policy research unit at Loughborough University – suggests a rising number of UK people live below what the public believes is an acceptable standard of living.

This MIS standard includes earning enough to eat a balanced diet, run a car and heat a home.

The Researchers questioned 21 focus groups made up of working families, pensioners and single people of working age.

A couple with two children were said to need to earn a minimum of £18,400 a year each before tax, single people £16,400 a year, while the figure for lone parent with one child is £23,900.

JRF chief executive Julia Unwin said: ‘Parents facing low wages and pressure on their working time have little prospect of finding the extra money they need to meet growing household expenses.

‘Many working people face the risk of sliding into poverty. It illustrates how anti-poverty measures are needed to address not just people’s incomes but also the costs that they face.’

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