Growth without gain?: The faltering living standards of people on low-to-middle incomes

27th May 2011

James Plunkett

The living standards of people on low to middle incomes were already faltering prior to the recession, and it is no longer safe to assume they will rise when economic growth returns. 'Growth without gain?' reveals that even during the boom years 2003 to 2008:

• median wages flat-lined and disposable incomes actually fell in every English region outside of London, despite economic growth of 11%

• housing costs continued to hit hard as 30% of low to middle income first time buyers relied on a 100% mortgage in 2009, and the proportion renting trebled from 1988 to 2008 as house prices moved out of reach

• since 2006, those on low to middle incomes also faced as much as a 1% higher inflation rate on their cost of living than higher earners.

The report was launched alongside a panel discussion on whether the UK is moving towards an era of growth without gain for people on low-to-middle incomes. Speaking at the event Faisal Islam and Will Hutton made the following comments about the report:

"It paints the detail behind some of the feelings I have had as an economics reporter over the past ten years that things weren’t quite right in the economy. Despite the supposed boom people weren’t really feeling it. It presents a spectacularly detailed look at what might have gone wrong, and makes some explanations without being too pointed. Make sure you go and read it"  (Faisal Islam, Economics Editor, Channel 4 news)

"There is a big new question facing the country which this report identifies, the importance of which is hard to underestimate" (Will Hutton, Executive Vice Chair, The Work Foundation)

Read coverage in:

Observer - Gavin Kelly's preview of the report

Observer - Toby Helm's analysis of the report

Financial Times


Daily Mail


Sky News


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Associated Downloads

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Growth without gain? Press Notice

26 May 2011
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Growth without gain? Executive Summary

26 May 2011
File type: pdf | Size: 379.4 KB

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Growth without gain?

26 May 2011
File type: pdf | Size: 2.0 MB

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