This report sets out business’ blueprint for an economy where growth benefits all. As we recover from the recession and attempt to chart a successful route through the changing global economy, we need immediate relief for the hardest pressed and action right now to set our living standards on the path to a better future.

Living standards are a key topic of debate as we approach the 2015 General Election. This is not a surprise given that the average household has seen its income drop by 6% from where it stood before the crisis, allowing for inflation. Pay restraint has helped keep many people in work during the crisis and protected them from unemployment, which is a positive. Losing a job in the family is one of the worst things that can happen to a family’s living standards. But given earnings were growing faster than inflation for half a century, it’s no surprise that the squeeze on earnings has been a shock for many. Particularly hard hit by this change have been those on the lowest incomes, working families – who have faced significant rises in costs such as childcare – and younger workers who have struggled to make their way in their careers.

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