Working PAPER

Childcare TitleThis paper quantifies the additional earning burden imposed on households by the high cost of formal childcare in Ireland.

The MEBS model expenditure data and Minimum Income Standard approach, are applied to quantify the income need burden attributable to the high costs of formal childcare for urban based, one child household compositions.

The paper examines the gross salary required to afford the full cost of a Minimum Essential Standard of Living (MESL), including the cost of formal full-time childcare; this is the Minimum Income Standard (MIS). The analysis then sets out to identify how much of the MIS is attributable to the cost of childcare.

The MIS rate required to afford formal childcare and all the essential elements of a socially acceptable minimum standard of living, is up to 150% of the National Minimum Wage for Two Parent household compositions, and up to 260% of the National Minimum Wage for One Parent household compositions.

The effects of two alternative approaches to childcare subsidisation are modelled, examining the impact on the MIS earnings need of each approach:

  • An adjustment to the Family Income Supplement (FIS) which would take account of a household’s childcare costs in the FIS means test
  • A Scandinavian model of childcare charges; capping childcare costs to the household at 30% of the actual cost

Get the full Paper herepdf 
Roundtable Presentation

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Technical Paper

Energy TitleThis research commissioned by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul demonstrates that improving household energy efficiency is vital. However, improvements in energy efficiency alone will not enable vulnerable household types afford their minimum energy needs.

The degree to which the cost of household energy is a burden on a household is the product of multiple factors, the price of energy, the energy efficiency of the dwelling and the income of the household in question.

To demonstrate the varying impact and interplay of these factors, this paper identifies the household energy need for three dwelling types at different levels of efficiency, and examines the burden of this energy need for three household types in multiple income scenarios.

The analysis presents the overall expenditure required for a Minimum Essential Standard of Living for three household types, examining each household type in two income scenarios.

The paper demonstrates the impact of the energy efficiency of the dwelling a household resides in, on the overall minimum expenditure need of a household, and on the household’s vulnerability to energy poverty.

Get the full Paper herepdf 


The VPSJ has prepared its annual Budget Impact Briefing in response to the details of Budget 2015.

This briefing analyses the impact of the Budget in the context of the Minimum Essential Budget Standards (MEBS) model, examining the current position of a set of household types in 2014, and what the situation will be in 2015.

The Impact Briefing calculates the forecast cost of a Minimum Essential Standard of Living for 2015, and examines the impact of the new measures on income adequacy for a set of household types when dependent on social welfare and in employment scenarios.

Read the full Briefing herepdf 

2014 Minimum Essential Standard of Living Update

2014 Minimum Essential Standard of Living expenditure and income data now available.
A paper detailing and analysing the MESL data for 2014 is now available. The paper includes detailed budget tables and income scenarios for MESL household types:

  • Two Parent households with children
  • One Parent households with children
  • Single Adult of working age, living alone
  • Two Adults of working age, living together
  • Pensioner household types

pdfRead the full Update Paper here

Minimum Income Standard calculator

The Minimum Income Standard calculator has also been updated to the 2014 MESL expenditure needs data. This follows the earlier updating of to reflect the changes to incomes implemented under Budget 2014.

The effect of changes in the cost of a Minimum Essential Standard of Living and changes in incomes in 2014 can be examined for a variety of household types by using the Minimum Income Standard calculator.

WORKING PAPER: Housing Tenure - Impact on the Cost of a MESL

The VPSJ has published a new working paper "Housing Tenure and its Impact on the Cost of a Minimum Essential Standard of Living".

This paper examines four household compositions in two tenure types; social housing and private rented accommodation. This paper is timely in light of falling social housing output and an increase in the number of households living in the private rented sector.

The four household compositions under consideration are:

  • One Parent and One Child (infant)
  • One Parent and Two Children (age 10 & 15)
  • Two Parents and Two Children (age 3 & 10)
  • Two Parents and Three Children (baby, 3 year old & 10 year old)

The paper, which solely focuses on the cost to the household, first examines the four household compositions in situations of employment and analyses how an identical household's minimum income standard is affected by housing tenure.

The paper then examines the same four sample households in situations of unemployment and demonstrates the impact that housing tenure has on identical households wholly reliant on social welfare. The adequacy of social welfare transfers is assessed for households in each tenure type, including Rent Supplement for those unemployed and living in the private rented sector.

The Working Paper & Appendices



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