The living income level is based on the Minimum Income Standard (MIS), which is overseen by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and developed by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at the University of Loughborough. The MIS is also used to determine the real living wage, paid by companies like Ikea and Aviva.
It sets out what the public thinks are essential goods and services for an adequate standard of living, which “includes, but is more than just, food, clothes and shelter. It is about having what you need in order to have the opportunities and choices necessary to participate in society.”
Every year, members of the public are invited to take part in a consultation with academic experts where they discuss and reach agreement on the baskets of goods and services required by different types of households in order to meet their basic needs and to participate in society. The participants are chosen to accurately reflect the views and experiences of ordinary people across the UK.
Before the pandemic there were around 19 – 20 million people living below the MIS. The crisis has added at least 1.5 million to this number.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation specifies four levels of living standard relating to the MIS:
Source: Joseph Rowntree Foundation
The Living Income will use these as benchmarks for reforming social security, so we can all deal with life’s challenges.
Together we can ensure everyone has enough to afford life's essentials.