Responding to the IFS report, Incomes and inequality: the last decade and the next parliament, chief executive of the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) Campbell Robb, said:
“These troubling figures show families on low incomes could suffer a painful five-year squeeze on their living standards. Stagnant incomes, a freeze on working-age benefits and rising costs means millions of families are struggling to make ends meet. Incomes for the poorest fifth of the population are likely to fall even lower over the next Parliament, whilst those among the rest of the population grow.
“Whoever wins the general election, households who are already struggling face the risk of falling further into poverty - unless action is taken after June’s vote. We need to see the parties bring forward plans in their manifestos to ease the strain.
“Over the next Parliament the focus should be on making sure that people can improve their prospects and get on at work, boosting productivity and pay in all parts of the UK, and ensuring people’s incomes keep pace with the cost of essentials.”