Philip Hammond claims living standards are rising. Backs up the claim with…nothing

Defence secretary Philip Hammond was on the Daily Politics today and made a startling claim: that living standards are starting to rise again.

Defence secretary Philip Hammond was on the Daily Politics today and made a startling claim: that living standards are starting to rise again.

When asked by presenter Andrew Neil where he got the data showing living standards improving, however, he drew a blank.

Perhaps we can help him out.

Delivering its verdict on George Osborne’s Autumn Statement last week, director of the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies Paul Johnson said the following:

“We do know from household surveys that income fell sharply in 2010 and 2011. It is almost certainly significantly lower now than it was in 2010.”

He added that:

“while it [income] should start to grow, it will surely still be below its 2010 level by the time we get to the election in 2015.”

In other words, Philip Hammond hasn’t got a “specific measure” because there isn’t one.  Living standards will be worse at the end of the current parliament than they were at the start.

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