April saw the refocusing of cost of living support on the worst-off households, which will exclude millions of people on middle incomes who are still struggling to afford essentials, including energy bills at least twice what they were in 2021. New research from the Financial Fairness Trust shows that over 20% of people with just-below median income are in serious financial difficulties and a quarter struggle to pay for food and other necessities. This prompts a question that goes much wider than the present crisis: how willing is the state to help households near the middle of the income distribution? Many such households, it argues, face a financial squeeze, driven by: stagnating real incomes, job insecurity, unaffordable home ownership and pressures to save more for their pensions and other contingencies.

Report: Financially squeezed households above the poverty line: new evidence

Report: Addressing the needs of financially squeezed households above the poverty line