Getting By? voices the experiences over a year of thirty Liverpool families where one or both parents were in low paid employment. Through weekly spending diaries tracking their income and expenses and regular in-depth interviews, they revealed the challenges they faced in their daily lives during 2014, as they sought to manage the impact of low income on their finances, health and well-being, social and family lives. They are typical of many other families, not just in Liverpool, but across Britain. These are families trying to get by on incomes below the Minimum Income Standard (MIS)2 – the rate deemed by the public in 2014 to be the minimum necessary to achieve an acceptable standard of living. They are the families experiencing the reality of austerity Britain at the sharp end.
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The Getting By? research team has completed the first ten interviews with households taking part in the year-long initiative.
More than 20 families from across Liverpool have now been recruited, with volunteers from a range of ethnic backgrounds, public and private sector workers, single parents and couples raising children.
Fuel poverty is already being highlighted as a major issue amongst Getting By? families, with limits on energy price increases appearing to have little effect.
Getting By? co-founder Paul Kyprianou added: “We’re already seeing a range of problems being identified with families having to make hard decisions and changes to benefits clearly impacting on people .”
A search is underway for 30 Liverpool families to take part in landmark study charting the struggles facing low income households in 21st Century Britain.
The Getting By? project will reveal the pressures faced by thousands of low income households coping with everything from wage freezes and welfare cuts to spiraling energy costs and unmask the realities hidden behind government employment statistics.