Review of the MESL Baskets And Addition of 3rd & 4th Child to Household Briefing Note

Issued: August 2012


The review of the baskets involved focus groups examining changing attitudes towards what is considered necessary for a minimum essential standard of living between 2006, when the expenditure baskets were first drawn up, and 2012. The review of the baskets did not involve drawing up and pricing entirely new baskets. The contents of the existing baskets were reviewed, and where necessary goods and services were added or subtracted. The lifespan of goods and where items were purchased was also reviewed. Subsequently, any necessary adjustments were made to the baskets based on the discussions with focus groups and expert opinion where necessary.

The 2012 review of the baskets has not shown a fundamental shift in members of the public’s opinion on what constitutes a minimum essential standard of living. However, whilst there was no seismic shift in attitudes or shopping patterns, there have been some alterations to the baskets that have impacted on the contents of the baskets and thus the cost of a minimum essential standard of living.