Budget 2020 MESL Impact Briefing

Issued: October 2019

Budget 2020



The VPSJ has prepared its annual budget impact briefing in response to Budget 2020.

This briefing analyses the impact of the Budget in the context of the Minimum Essential Standards research, benchmarking the adequacy of social welfare rates and the minimum wage in 2020 for a set of illustrative household types - assessing the degree to which Budget 2020 will enable a socially acceptable minimum standard of living in the coming year.

Our analysis finds that Budget 2020 has put in a place a number of evidence based targeted measures. These are very welcome and will support households most at risk of income inadequacy. However, in the context of predicted rising costs in 2020, the decision to leave primary working-age social welfare rates unchanged is likely to lead to a trend of deepening income inadequacy for many household types.

This shines a light on the need to benchmark social welfare rates against the cost of an MESL and ensure that minimum income supports enable a life with dignity for all age-groups.