April 7, 2014
NO ONE HAS IT HARDER THAN THEIR FATHER DID:
Squeezed middle has prospered during the crisis, claims thinktank : Social Market Foundation report insists economic problems faced by middle-income groups have been exaggerated (Toby Helm, 4/05/14, The Observer)
To accept how easy our lives are is too embarrassing.The economic problems of so-called "squeezed middle" families - those on low to middle incomes - have been exaggerated, according to new analysis which concludes that many have thrived since the beginning of the economic downturn in 2008.The Social Market Foundation (SMF), an independent thinktank, will challenge the prevailing view that this group has been stuck in a negative spiral of declining real wages and lack of hope, and assert that as a group it has demonstrated "remarkable resilience", with more than four in 10 families moving up the income scale.The SMF says it has adopted new methodology by tracking actual working-age households rather than relying on statistical averages and other data. It followed families who were in the middle 20% of income distribution - the third income bracket - at the start of the economic downturn in 2007-08 and analysed what had happened to them by 2011-12 (the latest available data). A family in this group in 2011-12 would have had a total pre-tax income, including benefits, of between £26,100 and £41,200.The report, Riders on the Storm, found that 41% of such families had climbed either into the fourth income bracket (£41,200 to £63,000 incomes) or the fifth or top income bracket (more than £63,000). A further 40% had stayed as they were, while 18% had fallen, either into the second-lowest or lowest income brackets, of £11,700 to £26,100 and below £11,700 respectively.The SMF's director, Emran Mian, said politicians appeared to have missed the fact that many had shown themselves capable of upward mobility.
Posted by Orrin Judd at April 7, 2014 6:10 PM