When The Living Wage is Not Enough

Issued: December 2016


The paper examines the Living Wage in the context of the additional and different needs of households with children. Focusing in particular on the set of six ‘Family Living Income’ household compositions which are presented in conjunction with the Living Wage each year, the paper aims to put the Living Wage in context.
Highlighting situations where the Living Wage is not enough, the paper examines the factors contributing to the inadequacy of the Living Wage for some family household compositions, highlighting gaps in current policy provision.

The paper presents an analysis of the household income, with increments of gross salary from the NMW to the Living Wage (and above), highlighting the degree to which additional earnings are taxed away (through increased income taxes and withdrawal of in-work social welfare supports), and where crucial income cliffs and poverty traps exist.