The MESL consensual budget standards research contributes a unique indicator to the debate on what constitutes a socially acceptable minimum level for a life with dignity. It shines a unique light on what is needed to avoid poverty, enable participation and inclusion. This informs debate on where the appropriate level of a minimally adequate income may lie.
In this way, the MESL expenditure needs data serves as a benchmark to assess the adequacy of social welfare supports and income from employment.
This sections provides detailed income scenarios benchmarking the adequacy of incomes for a set of representative household types. The full analysis examines a broader range of household types representing 90% of households in Ireland.
Multiple income scenarios are presented for each household type, and examine income from employment (earning the National Minimum Wage) and from Social Welfare, as appropriate.
The rates in place at the start of each year for Social Welfare, Tax calculations, National Minimum Wage, etc., are used in the calculations, unless otherwise stated.
2023 MESL Income Adequacy Benchmark
The tables below detail scenarios benchmarking the adequacy of incomes for a set of representative household types.
Household income is assessed in social welfare dependent scenarios and in employed scenarios. For older people, household income is based on the State Contributory or Non Contributory Pension.
In employed scenarios household income is comprised of income from work (based on the national minimum wage) and any relevant social welfare entitlements.
Social Welfare dependent scenarios
- Two Parent household compositions
- One Parent household compositions
- Working age, no children, houeshold types
- Older person household compositions
Minimum Wage employment scenarios
- Two Parent Household Compositions - Social Housing
- One Parent Household Compositions - Social Housing
- Working Age, no children, Household Types
The core MESL expenditure need data, for the full range of household compositions covered by the data, are available in the Expenditure Budgets section.