Will Britons cope with the fallout from a lost decade?
Date: 5. December 2011 / Category: Government
Gavin Kelly, The Observer
It's still amazing how little many people understand about how poor so many families are in our country, relative to what other people think. That's particularly a metropolitan misunderstanding. That's still the case today, but it is also noticeable that there is starting to be a detail and rigour in the conversation about living standards that we haven't seen before. I'm an optimist by nature, but it's hard not to be a pessimist now. Even when the economy was steadily growing, before the financial crisis, a large swath of the country was not sharing in that growing prosperity. These households have since seen a fall in their income, the like of which we have never known in any of our lifetimes. The media and others are playing catch-up with the longer-term reality: many working families were experiencing tough times before anyone talked about the "squeezed middle".
Alan Johnson benefits budget 2011 cameron chancellor Commission on Living Standards cost of living cuts David Cameron economy family food prices Gavin Kelly good life homeownership Housing income Independent inequality James Plunkett Labour Party Lib Dems living standards Middle Britain new statesman pension private rented prospect magazine social housing spending cuts Spending Review squeezed Squeezed Middle tax tax credits Treasury welfare