Minimum Income Standard

Contacts: 
Programme Manager - Poverty Team

The Minimum Income Standard (MIS) project aims to define an 'adequate' income. It is based on what members of the public think is enough money to live on, to maintain a socially acceptable quality of life. The Living Wage outside of London is calculated according to a formula that uses MIS figures.

In April 2013, according to MIS*:

  • a single working-age adult needs a budget of £200 per week;
  • a pensioner couple need £240;
  • a couple with two children need £470; and
  • a lone parent with one child needs £285

Most people relying on basic out-of-work benefits do not reach this standard.

* These amounts are after income tax, and do not include housing or childcare costs.

» Download this year's MIS research here.

MIS can be used to assess the impact of public policy on people’s living standards. Our new study finds that the creation of Universal Credit (UC) will strengthen work incentives for some, but provide little or no value for additional work, especially when paying for childcare.

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