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Adults earning more than the national average still struggling

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Working families who feel they’re ‘just about managing’ to pay their bills and make ends meet, have an average household income of £34,500 according to research by a new think tank – the Nottingham Civic Exchange (NCE).

Launched today by Nottingham Trent University in partnership with the RSA, the new think-tank is set to explore the implications of national government policy from a regional perspective.

Ordinary working familyToday’s findings, carried out in partnership with the University of Birmingham, form the first part of a three-phase study called Out of the Ordinary which will examine the government’s support for ‘ordinary working families’. The Family Holiday Association, a charity, which helps thousands of struggling UK families many of whom are “only just” about managing, sponsored the first stage of the research.

NCE researchers found that despite having a higher income than the national average, an estimated six million ‘struggling households’ still felt it was difficult to balance their weekly household budget.

Today’s report, Out of the Ordinary: Exploring the lives of ordinary working families, reveals that those households with actual low incomes are more likely to be found in the East Midlands than in the East, London, South-East and South West.

In the case of Nottingham, this is caused in part by the large portion of residents employed in low-paid caring roles, 11.5% compared to a national average of 9%, the report argues.

The findings come as some charities have said they’re increasingly alarmed by the impact of welfare cuts, rising rents and higher inflation on low-income working families.

Chief Executive of the RSA, and head of the government review into modern employment, Matthew Taylor, said:

“We are seeing increasing numbers of people, who despite being in full-time work, are struggling to get by. This important analysis from NCE highlights the need to create jobs that allow people to progress, enabling them to move from ‘just about managing’ to ‘managing’. The RSA’s partnership with NCE forms part of our ongoing commitment towards finding local solutions to people’s economic and social needs.”

Peter Long, President of the Family Holiday Association and Chairman of Royal Mail said: 

There are more than two million families who can’t afford a short break or even one day out every year. Although the NCE research is at an early stage, it starts to highlight the scale of the social challenges we face in helping the millions of families that are just about managing.  A large proportion of whom, although in work, are unable to enjoy or derive the proven benefits of leisure time together as a family.”

Professor Edward Peck, Vice-Chancellor of NTU, said the Out of the Ordinary programme provides an important exemplar of Nottingham Trent University engaging with the challenges and concerns of all of its fellow citizens.

Professor Peck said: “Nottingham Civic Exchange will explore a range of policy areas of importance to the people, communities and institutions of Nottingham. The exchange will draw on the expertise of University colleagues, the RSA and, of course, our own students to undertake its programme of work.”

Prof Peck and Mr Taylor will be attending tonight’s (June 15) launch event at Nottingham Trent University from 5.30pm, at which the first stage of Nottingham Civic Exchange’s research will be unveiled. Two further phases of work will follow in the summer and autumn.

For more information please contact Kirsty Green, press officer, on 0115 848 8799 or via email.

Tags: Social Tourism, Holidays Matter