2020 MESL Income Adequacy Benchmark

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.

The tables below detail 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.

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

Minimum Wage employment scenarios

Employed following employed scenarios are forthcoming

  • Two Parent Household Compositions - Social Housing
  • Two Parent Household Compositions - Housing Assistance Payment
  • One Parent Household Compositions - Social Housing
  • One Parent Household Compositions - Housing Assistance Payment
  • 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.