Benefits push up household income
Monday 15 October 2012
Britons were better off between April and June, official figures showed today, although this was largely down to a rise in social benefits.
Real household actual income, which consists of wages, pensions, benefits, share dividends and net interest, rose by £69 to £4,510 per head in the second quarter, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, its highest level in a year-and-a-half.
The main contribution came from growth in social benefits, which includes services provided by the Government such as health and education, the ONS said, although wages and salaries also made a "substantial" positive contribution.
Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said the figures support hopes that "households will step up their spending over the coming months" but warned household income per head is still 2.9% below peak levels seen in mid-2009.
The survey is part of the broader Measuring National Wellbeing programme, which was launched in November 2010 by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Mr Cameron ordered the research after deciding that the Government needed to be informed not only on Britain's economic progress but also on the public's quality of life.
National Wellbeing will be measured alongside gross domestic product (GDP) as a means of determining whether Government policies are making Britain a better place to live.
Without taking account of inflation, growth in household actual income was 2.8% in the second quarter when compared with the previous quarter.
As income increased, real household actual expenditure dipped by £7 per person in the same period and the household saving ratio increased by 0.7 percentage points to 6.7%.
Household payments of taxes and social contributions reduced household actual income by 0.4%, while an improving picture in the labour market boosted wages and salaries.
The department said this was supported by an increase of 128,000 in the number of employees in the second quarter.
Mr Archer continued: "While households are in a better position than they were late in 2011, they are still significantly worse off than they were back in 2009, so the upside for consumer spending is likely to be limited for some time to come.
"Consumer spending caution is likely to be reinforced by still appreciable concerns over the economic outlook."
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Service Desk Analyst - Chessington, Surrey...
£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is the UK's leading ...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: The Jenrick Group: Finance Manager/Manag...
£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a rare opportunity for ...