A minimum income standard for Britain : what people think

A minimum income standard based on what people said is needed to achieve an acceptable standard of living in Britain today. While politicians from all parties are committed to tackling relative poverty, the debates lack a robust defi nition of a minimum income standard (MIS), below which people’s incomes should not fall. This study devised a minimum income standard for Britain based on what members of the public said, and shows the cost of covering basic goods and services for different household types. The project blends the best elements of the two main methods that have been used to develop budget standards in Britain in recent years. It reconciles the views of experts with those of ordinary people, allowing budgets based on social consensus to be tested against expert knowledge and research. As such, the MIS represents a new and important tool for informing social policy in order to promote fairness and well-being in Britain.