Household income more than 2 per cent below 2009-10 levels, according to IFS

The recovery in living standards has been much slower than after the three previous recessions

Average household income is now back at pre-recession levels but is still more than 2 per cent below its 2009–10 peak, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

According to the think tank’s latest briefing note published today, the recovery in living standards has been much slower than after the three previous recessions, with median income growing by less than 2 per cent between 2011–12 and 2014–15.

The news confirms Labour’s election message that voters are worse of today than they were when the coalition took office back in 2010.

Real household incomes continued to grow during the recession of 2008 and 2009, according to the report, due in part to temporary fiscal stimulus measures brought in by the previous Labour government. Median income then fell by 4.0 per cent from its peak in 2009-10.

However the IFS says it is “almost certain that incomes would have fallen significantly under any government”.

“It would therefore be misleading to attribute all trends in living standards before May 2010 to Labour, and all trends since then to the coalition,” it adds.

It also says that household income is finally strengthening thanks to an improving labour market and falling inflation, with real median income growing by 1.1 per cent in 2014-15 – and therefore returning to around its pre-recession (2007–08) level.

But it cautions that the recovery in living standards has been slow and household consumption is still at pre-crisis level. Between 2011–12 and 2014–15, median income grew by just 1.8 per cent compared to 9.2 per cent in the early 1980s and 5.1 per cent in the 1990s.

This, the IFS says, is mainly the result of weak growth in earnings for those in work. “Tax increases and benefit cuts, implemented as part of the government’s deficit reduction plan, have also reduced incomes,” it adds.

According to the briefing note, changes in living standards have been different for different groups:

* Falls in income have been larger for higher-income households because real earnings fell significantly after the recession, while initially social security benefits were broadly protected. However since 2012–13 middle-income households have done better than low- and high-income households.

* Low-income households have faced higher inflation due to changes in the period up to and including 2009–10. Low-income households were hit harder by rising food and energy prices, and benefited less from falling mortgage interest rates, the IFS says.

* Incomes for those of working age remain below pre-crisis levels, with median income for young adults projected to be 7.6 per cent lower in 2014–15 than in 2007–08. It is also estimated to be 2.5 per cent lower for those aged 31 to 59. Meanwhile, median income for those aged 60 and over is projected to have risen by 1.8 per cent over the same period.

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14 Responses to “Household income more than 2 per cent below 2009-10 levels, according to IFS”

  1. Selohesra

    That household incomes are still lower just illustrates the depth of Labour’s recession – (or before Leon & Co start getting indignant the recession that happened when Labour were the party in charge)

  2. PJM

    I’m assuming that this bald income figure is simply a number which takes no account of the intervening years of inflation (or larger rises in energy bills and some food staples). It hasn’t been mentioned so can anyone who has any knowledge or who has read the IFS report enlighten my poor benighted mind?

  3. Arthur ASCII

    Why call it “Labour’s recession” then playmate? Banker’s recession would be a more accurate term.

  4. Selohesra

    Labour wanted to politicise it by highlighting a fall in living standards during this government – it seemed appropriate therefore to point out that the cause of the fall predated this government and sits squarely in Labour’s term of misrule

  5. PJM

    Guess not then.

  6. sarntcrip

    and yet doing the tory’s bidding the bbc is reporting that earnings are now above2010 which we knowthey ain’t

  7. sarntcrip

    utter drivel drivelthe greed oftory voting bankersand their overall incompetence even mervyn king saysthe recession was NOT LABOUR’S FAULT

  8. Leon Wolfeson

    There was a decent recovery going on, from a sharp but ending-rapidly recession. Other countries came out, like America, with decent growth.

    Instead, the Coalition on an emergency (budget) basis cut off the recovery and used austerity to piunge us into a depression. Which is why things have gotten so bad – not to mention the fact that austerity is massively expensive, and has caused a massive rise in poverty.

    You’re in denial. Again.

    (I’m not, as regular posters will know, a Labourite. But I don’t believe in blaming parties for things clearly NOT their fault – Labour did and didn’t do enough policies they should have followed as it is!)

  9. Leon Wolfeson

    You want to lie. And criticise democracy. And frantically armwave and try and gloss over the austerity which has had the predictable effects.

  10. sarntcrip

    only the 1% cansupport the tory lies supported by the likes of non dom tax exiles like the barclay brothers and murdoch who don’t have the best interests of our nation at heart rather like the tories who always put their own greed before the interests of the uk no decent Briton would have anything to do with them or their ukip sidekicks

  11. sarntcrip

    FOODBAKS(never seen under a labour government) will be the legacy of the calamity coalition , that and the bullying of the sick and disabled who are shouldering a disproportionate share of the wholly unnecessary divide and rule austerity programme which goes some way o shielding the gross tax evasion/avoidance still allowed by a government who won’t close the loopholes they themselves use.

  12. Dave Stewart

    It was a world wide recession which stared in the US due to sub-prime mortgage lending. How precisely did Labour cause a world wide recession?

    Kindly stop repeating untruths.

  13. sarntcrip

    in spite of the tory propaganda regurgitated by both itv and bbc main news yesterday this near an election any figures should be treated with extremesuspicion

  14. Santa Smith

    I am not surprised that household income more than 2 per cent below 2009-10 levels. Our economic is still on the knees and start to recover step by step. Yes, I remember 2008 year and crisis time. My budget was very tight because I got mortgage and after few months lost my job. I was short on cash and didn’t know how to meet expenses. Of course I could find fast payday loans online but I didn’t want to get in debt, I wanted to change my life into the better and to become a frugal person. That`s why I called my uncle and borrowed some money there. I was lucky because I found new job after 3 months.

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