Yesterday saw the publication of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation's 2011 research into the Minimum Income Standard. Two headline figures stand out:
the cost of a minimum basket of good and services has risen by 43% in the past decade
families need 20% more than last year to maintain living standards
We'd like to add a few more...
more than £160 a year for a bank account than manages bill payments for you
around £65 per household a year, paid in commission to comparison sites
around £25 paid back in interest, on every £100 payday loan
So, when it's your money, we ask you, does this add up, or is it a covert bailout when almost a month's family food bill can be spent on financial services?
Numeracy has remained at approximately four out of every five adults for the past twenty years, whilst personal borrowing increased by almost a third between 2004 and 2008 and has remained roughly the same since.
Are struggling consumers really financially incapable or is this just another brick in the wall?