We know that the gap between rich and poor is getting wider under Labour; and that Islington is one of the communities most affected by this polarisation.
Now the Joseph Rowntree Foundation reports that despite the recession, which might be thought to act as an equaliser, it’s still the poorest who are being hit hardest. The minimum cost of living, calculated at the level where you can participate in society rather than simply survive, is rising at twice the rate of inflation. And that means it is harder to live on a low income this year than last year.
The JRF figures show that a single person in Britain needs to earn at least £13,900 a year before tax in 2009, in order to afford a basic but acceptable standard of living. A couple with two children need to earn £27,600.
They even supply a handy calculator to see whether your income will meet the minimum.
JRF report that the cost of a minimum household budget has risen by about 5 per cent for most families – well above the general inflation rate because they spend more than average on high-inflation items such as food, domestic fuel and public transport. And those costs – and therefore the minimum income – are likely to be higher in London.
Remember, Gordon Brown makes everyone – but particularly those who can afford it least – pay more, whereas Lib Dem plans would see no one paying tax on the first £10,000 of income…