News and events
Evidence from CRSP cited in landmark High Court ruling
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:19:00 BST
In an extraordinary development, a High Court judge ruled on 9 April that the extremely low benefit entitlements of asylum seekers, and the freezing of their level in recent years, is illegal and needs to be corrected by the Home Secretary. In his ruling, he cited evidence that we submitted showing the inadequacy of these benefits in relation to minimum needs, and the fact that minimum costs had risen sharply, whereas the Home Office was suggesting that the contrary may be the case. The lawyers in the case informed us that our evidence had been crucial. Although this does not mean that judges will be setting benefits based on MIS, it is a significant precedent in terms of judges being willing, under judicial review, to overturn a benefit decision whose justification is shown to be irrational, and our evidence can contribute to this conclusion.
Further information on the case and outcome is available via the link below.
Vote for our Living Wage research
Thu, 13 Mar 2014 15:16:00 GMT
CRSP has been nominated for two Loughborough University Enterprise Awards for our work on the Living Wage.
One in the Social Impact category and the other for our Consultancy work.
The award is being decided by public ballot and you can vote for us using the links below.
Households below a Minimum Income Standard: 2008/9 to 2011/12
Fri, 24 Jan 2014 08:32:00 GMT
The latest report in the Minimum Income Standard programme, funded by JRF was published today. The report looks at the changes in the adequacy of incomes, as measured by households’ ability to reach the Minimum Income Standard (MIS), between 2008/9 and 2011/12; a period when recession set in and continued to bite while the tightening of benefits and tax credits first kicked in. It is the second in an annual series of reports tracking how many people live in households with insufficient income to afford a minimum socially acceptable standard of living according to MIS. As well as monitoring numbers below this threshold, the report also looks at how many are well above and how many well below this standard.
The report shows that overall there has been a deterioration in living standards, with the proportion of individuals living in households below MIS increasing by a fifth between 2008/9 and 2011/12. Hardest hit have been single working age individuals, and within this group single people aged under 35 living on their own have seen a dramatic increase in their risk of having an income that is well below the Minimum Income Standard. The findings of the report confirm that young people, single people and people in private housing have done particularly badly relative to their minimum needs in recent years, in particular in terms of the numbers having to live on very low incomes. While families with children received some protection during the early years of the recession, from 2011 they have been hit by cuts in benefits and tax credits, and the risk of falling short of the MIS standard is starting to rise.
Minimum Acceptable Place Standards
Thu, 05 Dec 2013 09:15:00 GMT
A new report published today sets out the findings of research conducted by CRSP and the Centre for Housing Policy (University of York) exploring the possibility of consensual, publically agreed minimum standards for place. The research brought together groups of members of the public, from across different income groups, in cities, suburbs and rural locations. It set out to test the extent to which it was possible to establish a minimum acceptable place standard based on public consensus. In doing this it complements the on-going programme of work exploring Minimum Income Standards.
The research shows that it is possible to reach broad level agreement about what places need to have and be like in order to meet an acceptable minimum standard. This agreement is captured in the Minimum Acceptable Place Standards (MAPS) framework setting out the key domains and features that mean places reach this standard. The framework includes a number of services and facilities that people think should be within walking distance, such as primary schools, doctors and a community hub, and others up to twenty minutes away, such as hospitals and childcare.
Household costs and foster care
Wed, 06 Nov 2013 11:16:00 GMT
This report presents the findings of a project undertaken for the Fostering Network to develop robust information about the needs of foster families and the cost implications that these needs have for households. The different and additional needs in fostering households mean that the cost of providing a minimum socially acceptable standard of living for a foster child is higher than that of providing the same standard of living for a birth child of the same age.
The Cost of a Child in 2013
Mon, 19 Aug 2013 08:51:00 BST
The latest annual update of calculations of the additional cost of bringing up a child, based on the Minimum Income Standard, show that it now costs £148,000 to bring up a child, up 4 per cent since 2012. The cost of childcare and other expenses have been rising more rapidly than family incomes. As a consequence, families both in low-paid jobs and out of work are falling short of affording a minimum living standard, by a growing amount. The cap on uprating benefits and tax credits is systematically increasing this shortfall.
Does Universal Credit enable households to reach a minimum income standard?
Wed, 10 Jul 2013 12:59:00 BST
The Universal Credit is being introduced from 2013 to help people on low incomes to make ends meet, and to help make work pay. But how well does it achieve these objectives? This report looks in detail at the disposable income that households can obtain by working various hours on different wages, with the help of Universal Credit. It finds that UC helps make working households better off than those out of work. However, in many cases it traps people on low wages on incomes that are much lower than what they need as a minimum, and with little or no more disposable income if they work full time than part time.
This report breaks new ground in three ways. It looks at UC's effect on disposable income, taking account of the effect of working longer hours on childcare costs. It looks not just at work incentives but on the extent to which the families affected can reach an adequate income, using the Minimum Income Standard as a benchmark. Finally, the report compares the gains and losses made on the transition to Universal Credit with the effect of other recent changes in the adequacy of benefits and tax credits, to assess the overall extent to which households are better or worse off.
A Minimum Income Standard for Remote Rural Scotland
Thu, 04 Jul 2013 11:15:00 BST
Our MIS team went to some of the most isolated parts of the UK to research minimum budget requirements in island and mainland areas of remote parts of Scotland. This report sets out additional costs there, arising from factors such as additional travel needs, higher heating costs and more expensive households goods and food. The project was commissioned by a coalition of public and third-sector organisations in the region, who are using the results to help develop practical solutions in efforts to create sustainable communities.
A minimum standard of living now costs a quarter more than in 2008
Thu, 27 Jun 2013 16:35:00 BST
The latest annual Minimum Income Standard (MIS) results show a continuing squeeze on living standards for people on low incomes, as costs rise and incomes stagnate.
Since 2008, when the study was first undertaken, the price of an essential basket of goods and services has risen by 25%, compared to 17% for the Consumer Prices Index basket and average earnings increases of just 5%.
As a consequence, the income of people on benefits and on the National Minimum wage have fallen further behind MIS. This deterioration has continued in the past year, despite a record rise in tax allowances which has boosted buying power for those in work and paying tax. This gain has been outweighed by a combination of rising living costs and real-terms cuts in tax credits and child benefit, which hits families with children especially hard.
Donald Hirsch, author of this year's study, said: “From this April, for the first time since the 1930s, benefits are being cut in real terms by not being linked to inflation. The next election is likely to be the first in 84 years when living standards are lower than at the last one. Sadly, the families least able to adjust to this reduction are now feeling it hard."