Welfare standards of living assessed


Almost all households dependent on social welfare payments cannot live a dignified life, according to calculations by the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (Mabs) and the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice.

The two organisations yesterday announced an online living standards calculator which gives the minimum income necessary to live a dignified life for a range of different household types.

The Minimum Income Standard calculator calculates a minimum basic income for families with children, one- and two-parent; adults of working age living alone; pensioner-couple households and pensioners living alone.

The calculations have been arrived at following focus group discussions with the public. The focus was on needs not wants, said Dr Bernadette Mac Mahon, director of the Vincentian Partnership, but was concerned with more than mere survival. The calculator includes access to a social life, entertainment, reading materials and transport, as well a nutritious diet, heat and clothes.