MESL 2021 Annual Update

Issued: October 2021

MESL 2021



This report provides an update of the MESL baskets to reflect prices in 2021, specifying the average weekly cost of the goods and services deemed necessary to enable a socially acceptable minimum standard of living.

The MESL provides an evidence-based indicator of the current cost of the goods and services required to enable a socially acceptable minimum standard of living. The analysis in the report benchmarks the adequacy of social welfare supports and the national minimum wage, examining the role of both direct income supports and services which can reduce MESL expenditure need.

The annual MESL report provides detail of latest MESL expenditure needs and in-depth analysis of income adequacy assessments to underpin the evidence-based policy recommendations.

The policy recommendations based on the findings from the MESL research are detailed in the pre-budget submission to the Department of Social Protection for Budget 2022.

Furthermore, the MESL data and analysis informs a number of collaborative efforts, including the calculation of the Living Wage rate for Ireland and efforts to advocate for the benchmarking of social welfare rates to enable an adequate minimum standard of living, i.e. the MESL.

In this way, the VPSJ’s Minimum Essential Standard of Living research is actively working towards a fairer society for all.