Society and Culture

Focus on Minimum Income Standard misses the point on poverty


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IEA responds to Joseph Rowntree Foundation report on poverty

Commenting on the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s report on poverty Chris Snowdon of the Institute of Economic Affairs said:

“While this report rightly points to the problem of high living costs in this country, measuring standards of living on how frequently you are able to replace your wardrobe or afford optional items such as a barbecue set, are not exactly the types of things most people would categorise as basic necessities.The Minimum Income Standard is a subjective and somewhat dubious measure of what constitutes an acceptable standard of living, used in this instance to dramatically claim that millions are on the brink of falling into poverty.

“We absolutely do need to address the ever-increasing cost of living by deregulating sectors such as housing, energy and childcare to bring down costs. But the ‘needs’ listed in the Minimum Income Standard lend themselves to headline grabbing statistics rather than outlining actual basic needs.” 

Notes to editors:
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To read Dr Kristian Niemietz, Head of Health and Welfare at the Institute of Economic Affairs’ report ‘Reducing poverty through policies to cut the cost of living”, written for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, click here.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

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