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Family cash ‘tighter than in the 1990s’

FAMILIES have suffered a tighter income squeeze in the last two years than during the 1990s recession, according to a think-tank.

Typical household incomes are estimated to have fallen by 0.5 per cent between 2016 and 2018. This compares to a 0.3 per cent growth between 1991 and 1993, the Resolution Foundation’s Living Standards Audit said.

The foundation aims to improve living standards for people on low to middle incomes. It found that although women’s wages have grown by an average of £6,100 since 1995, male pay has gone up by £1,000 more.

Adam Corlett, the foundation’s senior economic analyst, said: ‘Over the past two years, UK households have experienced a near stagnation in living standards, even worse than the income hit experienced during the early 1990s recession. After an unprecedented income squeeze over the past decade, and a living standards outlook that includes child poverty rising to record levels, an economic approach that supports higher incomes for all households must be the top domestic priority for the incoming prime minister.’

A government spokesman defended its record. He said families had been ‘helped to earn more and keep more of what they earn’.

The spokesman added: ‘We have given the lowest paid an almost five per cent pay rise by increasing the National Living Wage, cut income tax for 32million people and taken 1.74million people out of income tax.’

■ THE number of people unemployed fell by 51,000 to 1.29million in the three months to May, the Office for National Statistics said. That means the unemployment rate stands at 3.8 per cent — the lowest level since 1974. Average pay is £468 a week.