15 December 2010
Research suggests that most British people will call themselves middle class by 2020. But many will find it increasingly hard to achieve the lifestyle that is supposed to go with it, writes Gavin Kelly in Prospect Magazine(£).
It is one of the most famous sketches in comedy: John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett, lined up in descending height, dressed as the three tiers of the British class system: a pinstriped upper-class Cleese to the left; a middle-class Barker in suit and tie in the centre; and Corbett, meek and flat-capped, playing the role of the lower class, who sighs: “I know my place.”
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