The Lowes

Martin Evans and Lewis Williams

in A generation of change, a lifetime of difference?

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9781847423054
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301387 | DOI:
The Lowes

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This chapter evaluates the model lifetime simulations for a low-paid family, the Lowes, whose wage is 50% of median earnings. It specifically addresses their lifetime of inputs and outputs and of poverty risk with profiles where employment is continuous, but also considers interrupted lifetime profiles where unemployment and incapacity occur. It then first describes the profile of income, taxes and benefits for an inflation-free 2008 ‘Groundhog Day’ lifetime before moving on to impose these same assumptions on the 1997 and 1979 systems and comparing the incidence of taxes and benefits between these years. The Lowes in 1979 had lifetime disposable incomes that were 53% of the Meades' despite their earnings being 50% of median earnings. The gap grew hugely to 43% in 1997 and had returned to 1979 levels by 2008 (54%). Part of the 2008 difference is due to the national minimum wage.

Keywords: Lowes; poverty; lifetime profiles; income; taxes; benefits; earnings

Chapter.  8110 words.  Illustrated.

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