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

Published on Incomes and Inequality

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? explores the boom years 2003 to 2008.

From 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.