Millions of families who are ‘just about managing’ are on the tipping point of falling into poverty, a new report warns.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation said the number of people living below an adequate standard of living had increased by four million to 19 million over the past six years.
The increase has been driven by rising living costs, while incomes have stagnated, research found.
The price of a minimum ‘basket of goods’ has jumped by up to 30 per cent since 2008, but average earnings have only gone up by half that amount, said the report.
Record employment is not enough to help families reach a so-called minimum income standard – calculated by the Centre for Research in Social Policy on what households need to have an acceptable standard of living.
Campbell Robb, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “These stark figures show just how precarious life can be for many families.
“Government focus on people on modest incomes is welcome, but it cannot be at the expense of those at the poorest end of the income scale. It must remember just about managing today can become poverty tomorrow.
“This could be a very difficult time for just managing families as rising inflation begins to bite into finely balanced budgets.
“The high cost of living has already helped push four million more people below an adequate income, and if the cost of essentials such as food, energy and housing rise further, we need to take action to ease the strain.
“The Government can help in next month’s Budget by allowing families to keep more of their earnings and ensuring benefits and tax credits keep up with the rising cost of living.”
Picture: Undated file photo of money, as a new report warns that millions of families who are ‘just about managing’ are on the tipping point of falling into poverty. (Joe Giddens PA Wire/PA Images).