Update on Minimum Income Standards (MIS) from Joseph Rowntree Foundation, sent by Donald Hirsh, Director of Centre for Research on Social Policy (CRSP)

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has renewed funding for updating MIS, up to the end of 2016, with regular research to ensure that the budgets reflect contemporary values and living standards. We will now be carrying out “rebase” studies, recalculating household budgets from scratch, every four years for each household type, on a biannual rolling basis. So, in 2014, we will “rebase” budgets for households without children, while conducting a lighter-touch review of budgets for families with children, while in 2016 we will do the reverse.  This regular commitment to keep MIS up to date reflects the importance that JRF attaches to MIS as a benchmark informing debates about household needs and about poverty in the UK.

Some other recent developments:

– We have recently completed a substantial study identifying minimum income standards in remote rural Scotland, to be published in June by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

– We are currently undertaking a study of the additional cost of fostering a child, using the MIS method, funded by the Fostering Network.

– We have recently looked at how the numbers below MIS have risen as a result of recession, in a report published by JRF

– We are presently supporting projects in Portugal, France and Austria using the MIS method. Together with projects in Japan and Ireland, this is creating an international body of knowledge which should produce some interesting comparative results. We will be pursuing such comparisons in 2014, and hope to hold some kind of international symposium or conference late in 2014 or early 2015.

You can keep in touch through Twitter (@CRSP_LboroUni) or via the CRSP website, which we have recently redesigned – http://www.crsp.ac.uk

Core MIS team members: Abigail Davis, Matt Padley, Lisa Jones, maternity cover for Nicola Lomax, the project administrator and first point of contact (l.j.jones@lboro.ac.uk)


4 thoughts on “Update on Minimum Income Standards (MIS) from Joseph Rowntree Foundation, sent by Donald Hirsh, Director of Centre for Research on Social Policy (CRSP)

  1. It is time that social and tax harmonization be tackled at the European level (at least…)

    The problem was there since the beginning of the Common Market in the early sixties, and remained unchanged when the Common Market was renamed and extended to the European Union. Things became worse when the European Union integrated former Eastern Bloc Countries with dramatically lower wages and lower social protection.
    Yet this subject of tax and social protection was considered “taboo” by the European Commission, in particular the “Internal Market and competition direction. Nobel price Joseph Stieglitz christened them “market fundamentalists…

    Countries started to compete on taxes and social protection, or lack of thereof.
    This has been and probably still is one of the reasons for the public disaffection on the European project, fed up with unfair competition from former Eastern Europe countries

    • Thanks for this comment Paul. I hope the EMIN project can contribute a stronger cooperation in the EU to reach common high level social standards.

      Fintan, EMIN Coordinator

      • Iindeed Fintan there is a dire requirement for higher social standards in Europe , as was already analyzed in a 2003 Commission report ”
        “Report for the Employment and Social Affairs DG. FINAL REPORT. Dr. Didier Fouarge. January 3, 2003.
        And things aren’t going to improve soon : for the sake of economic competitiveness a high pressure on wages is already applied and won’t stop in the future. If we win the battle on wages businesses are going to reply by further tasks automation reducing further the part of labor in industrial production and the provision of services. It is not question of going backward to uninteresting and tiring jobs; the idea is that social policies should take this technological evolution in their perspectives towards a better quality of life as well as fighting against the poverty implied by unemployment growth. Which by the way will reduce product demand creating a vicious circle entailing even more wages decreases.. In system where social taxes are computed on the basis of wages this will mean even less resources to organize social programs.

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