The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has revealed that parents need to earn at least £18,400 each so that their families can live to an acceptable standard.
The income requirement is now 5% higher than it was in 2010, an increase put down to the freeze on child benefit, childcare assistance cuts and the increase in prices.
The government responded, claiming they were doing all they could to help people who were feeling the pinch.
A HM Treasury spokesman added, “The Government recognises that people are feeling squeezed and is doing what it can to help, reducing fuel duty so taxes on fuel are 6p lower than they would have been and implementing an increase in the personal allowance in April, taking over 800,000 of the lowest paid out of tax,”
The report revealed that a single person needed to earn over £15,000 before tax and benefits to earn a satisfactory standard of living, although this figure did not include the running of a car, something seen as a luxury.
The reports author, Donald Hirsch from Loughborough University added, “This report shows that the squeeze in living standards caused by the combination of rising prices and stagnant incomes is hitting people on low incomes hard,”
The report set out a minimum weekly budget for acceptable living for a variety of situations. A single working age person needs to earn at least £240.89 a week, whilst a pensioner couple will need at least £302.74 a week to get by comfortably.
A couple with two children will need £705.63 a week whilst a lone parent with one child needs at least £466.08 a week, a staggering amount.
The figures do include one family holiday a year, in this country, as well as food, bills, rent/mortgage and the costs of maintaining a social existence.
“In practice, earnings have risen by less than inflation, meaning that many people on low incomes are finding it substantially harder to make ends meet than a year ago,” explained the report.
“This report is an early sign of the huge impact that even seemingly modest changes in the welfare system can have, especially for low-income working families who depend on it to achieve an acceptable living standard.”