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£120,000 A Year - Beware The 'squeezed Middle' – They're Not That Squeezed, And Not That Middle

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/beware-the-squeezed-middle--theyre-not-that-squeezed-and-not-that-middle-9349739.html

In the grim economic circumstances of the past few years, one question has been asked again and again: who has borne the brunt of it? It's a complicated matter, and the answer sets the political agenda; surprising, then, that if you judge by column inches and the tenor of political rhetoric, there is a single view. The real victims of the great recession, our leaders and leader writers agree, have been the middle classes, also known as the squeezed middle. We're all in it together, but apparently some of us are more in it together than others.

We heard about the distressing fate of the squeezed middle in a piece in The Daily Telegraph last week that told the story of Guy Jackson, a financial compliance officer in the City. Guy is so darn squeezed it's a wonder his buttons aren't flying off. He's not asking for much: he just wants to maintain his and his family's standard of living. But the squeeze has "really hit" them. Trips to Tesco instead of Ocado deliveries. No city breaks. No new cars! It's no wonder: with two sons to keep at private schools, Guy and his wife Sharon must manage on his "basic salary" of £120,000 a year. (The article neglects to mention Sharon's contribution to the pot, which is mysterious, when LinkedIn reveals her ownership of what sounds like a thriving corporate training business.)

I had no idea how they cope on £120k a year. It must be horrendous struggling on that type of wage.

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What are you whittering about? Isn't the squeezed middle one of those political terms that means just what you want it to mean? FWIW, for a glorious moment I thought the Chattering Classes had noticed all the hardworking folks with less than the dole to live on after rent and basic work costs.

I find it entirely plausible that someone on £120k but facing London costs should be no better off than "the poor".

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/beware-the-squeezed-middle--theyre-not-that-squeezed-and-not-that-middle-9349739.html

I had no idea how they cope on £120k a year. It must be horrendous struggling on that type of wage.

You're a pathological poster of press clippings, coupled with an endless stream of mindless drivel, sarcasm and general sloblock.

As the next poster says, it's entirely possible to earn that kind of wedge in and near London, and be not a fat lot better off than some benefits drone.

Mind you, with your posting rate it's hard to know how you hold down any sort of "proper" job, and have any idea of what reality looks or feels like. I can't help hypothesising that you're either a full-time lobbyist or troll, and clearly have neither. Many of your postings certainly suggest either or both.

Kno8

B

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In fairness to IRRO this article was the subject of a fairly lengthy thread. The gist of which was a legitimate scepticism regarding whether being a top 3% earner spending £45k on school fees was really the sort of scenario which is meant by 'the squeezed middle'. The article was so vague it was not clear whether the facts presented were reliable either ( the earnings seemed to be an extrapolation of a day rate). The people in the article seemed to have turned up in papers before too. Perfectly proper for the Indy to attack the story imo.

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You're a pathological poster of press clippings, coupled with an endless stream of mindless drivel, sarcasm and general sloblock.

As the next poster says, it's entirely possible to earn that kind of wedge in and near London, and be not a fat lot better off than some benefits drone.

Blimey, who put you in charge ?

He does us all a great favour bringing to our attention the general B.S. printed by the MSM.

I know who i'd rather listen to and it's not you !!!

Has the site been over-tun with newbees ?

Edited by TheCountOfNowhere

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How the F is someone on 120K a year (plus his wife's income) worse off than someone on benefits?

Top whack there is 26K and only 28000 families get that. He's on 3 times that after income tax, plus whatever he gets as a bonus each year as well.

Some people on here sound like they're reading the Daily Express through a megaphone sometimes.

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You're a pathological poster of press clippings, coupled with an endless stream of mindless drivel, sarcasm and general sloblock.

As the next poster says, it's entirely possible to earn that kind of wedge in and near London, and be not a fat lot better off than some benefits drone.

Mind you, with your posting rate it's hard to know how you hold down any sort of "proper" job, and have any idea of what reality looks or feels like. I can't help hypothesising that you're either a full-time lobbyist or troll, and clearly have neither. Many of your postings certainly suggest either or both.

Kno8

B

Hilarious.

How does one discuss the economy if you don't discuss the news?

Would you prefer to discuss the following?

http://www.sciencedirect.com.eresources.shef.ac.uk/science/article/pii/S0167268112000431

Trend growth expectations and U.S. house prices before and after the crisis

http://www.sciencedirect.com.eresources.shef.ac.uk/science/article/pii/S0378426609003379

The relationship between house prices and house purchase loans: The Spanish case

However I'm guessing that probably 99% of individuals on here don't have access to these papers, which would exclude everyone from talking about it as they can't read it.

Perhaps I should be an even bigger knoeight and just post stuff that the majority can't read rather than being inclusive and posting press articles?

However if they are really stretched on £120k perhaps not sending the kids to private school might be an expense they could cut?

Did you failed to get laid last night? You seem a little tetchy?

Edited by interestrateripoff

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How the F is someone on 120K a year (plus his wife's income) worse off than someone on benefits?

Top whack there is 26K and only 28000 families get that. He's on 3 times that after income tax, plus whatever he gets as a bonus each year as well.

Some people on here sound like they're reading the Daily Express through a megaphone sometimes.

Yes out of work benefit cap is 26k (35 k ish in real terms) and ignored if DLA involved

In work benefits has no cap that im aware of and is entirely based on circumstance and entitlement.

120k salary would at a rough guess leave take home of 70K .

If we compare the 2 ( ignoring housing costs) the 120k salary is about 35k better off than the 26 k unemployed benefit capped , assume that the 120k guy pays high private rent and the benefit cap guy lives in much cheaper social housing and the gap narrows further.

Dont get me wrong i would love to earn 120K and take home 70k but as someone who earned under 20k last tax year i find the benefit cap way too for high to allow someone to do jack shit all week while i put in a full weeks graft and they can end up with more money than i, either benefits are too high or wages too low, which ever one it is needs to be addressed but most likely will not

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Yes out of work benefit cap is 26k (35 k ish in real terms) and ignored if DLA involved

In work benefits has no cap that im aware of and is entirely based on circumstance and entitlement.

120k salary would at a rough guess leave take home of 70K .

If we compare the 2 ( ignoring housing costs) the 120k salary is about 35k better off than the 26 k unemployed benefit capped , assume that the 120k guy pays high private rent and the benefit cap guy lives in much cheaper social housing and the gap narrows further.

Dont get me wrong i would love to earn 120K and take home 70k but as someone who earned under 20k last tax year i find the benefit cap way too for high to allow someone to do jack shit all week while i put in a full weeks graft and they can end up with more money than i, either benefits are too high or wages too low, which ever one it is needs to be addressed but most likely will not

A lot of assumptions there.;)

My advice? Relax... look around a bit more.

The 26K top benefit rate is claimed by just 0.15% of UK families.

You'd think it was 1 in 10 the way it's covered. In reality it's closer to 1 in 1000.

It's far from the benefit norm yet it's presented as being an extremely common occurrence.

I asked myself a long time ago why it's being presented that way and by whom.

I really do think the landed property/gentry and big tax avoiding individuals/corporations are deliberately holding the magnifine glass over these rare individuals to warp, misinform, and distract.

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A lot of assumptions there. ;)

I really do think the landed property/gentry and big tax avoiding individuals/corporations are deliberately holding the magnifine glass over these rare individuals to warp, misinform, and distract.

i agree to an extent and if i were in charge i would go after the royal family/elites 1st etc, in fact i best not say on a public forum what i truly believe should happen :ph34r:

I react to what i see with my own eyes however and i see a lot of people on benefits ( in work or out) with a better quality of life than myself, ive made steps to change that for the better however the point remains for your average worker that either benefits are too high or wages too low, you can take your pick what you think that is but that does need to change to make working actually worth while.

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These articles always make the same silly point:

Earning lots of money and spending lots of money (on school fees, big houses etc) is not the same as not earning much money and not spending much money.

In both cases you've likely got little left at the end of the month. But in the former case that's a choice.

If the people in this article chose to educate their kids like 93% of the country do they'd have EXTRA spending money of twice the average wage...

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i agree to an extent and if i were in charge i would go after the royal family/elites 1st etc, in fact i best not say on a public forum what i truly believe should happen :ph34r:

I react to what i see with my own eyes however and i see a lot of people on benefits ( in work or out) with a better quality of life than myself, ive made steps to change that for the better however the point remains for your average worker that either benefits are too high or wages too low, you can take your pick what you think that is but that does need to change to make working actually worth while.

I've done both mate. Low wages and benefits out of work.

On minimum wage I had about £230 a week after tax (£210 if you include my council tax).

Most benefits I ever had was £150 when on the dole for a few months (if you include council tax benefit).

I agree it can be close, but by god that extra £60 a week made the world of difference to me and was worth working for!

Worst off I've ever been was when I started my business and existed on tax credits for a while. Benefits totalled £110 a week (I didn't get council tax benefit as I could only afford a single room at the time). It was hell but I made it out (taxman does very well out of me now!)

I think the cost of living needs lowering before benefits drop or wages rise basically. The biggest benefit factor when out of work was always rent, and mine always seemed to go to a 60+ boomer landlord cash-in-hand.

It was never "me" that did well out of benefits and I don't think it is in the vast majority of instances. 70% of what the state gave me went straight back out in rent. I see a lot of folk trapped by this now in my area. Why work when most of what you earn gets taken? Folk know they'll never be able to break that cycle as owning on a minimum wage is an impossibility now. It wasn't 20 years ago (or it was at least far more attainable if you grafted as I know folk who did it). Aspiration needs to be given back to the poor before we kick them IMHO.

If we continue to prop property and price the poor off the board from the start I really don't think any of us should be surprised so many of them now refuse to play.

Edited by byron78

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How the F is someone on 120K a year (plus his wife's income) worse off than someone on benefits?

Top whack there is 26K and only 28000 families get that. He's on 3 times that after income tax, plus whatever he gets as a bonus each year as well.

Some people on here sound like they're reading the Daily Express through a megaphone sometimes.

120k is an exaggeration. But even quite high earners can be little better off.

To take an example, two parents, 3 teenage children, 1 parent working, living in west London:

a) Scenario A - 35 hours a week at £7 an hour, gross annual income £12,740, net annual income £11,618 (thesalarycaluclator.co.uk). Total benefits eligbile including tax credits, housing benefit, child benefit, council tax support = £32,370 (entitledto.co.uk). Total after tax income £43,988.

B) Scenario B - A well paying job at £65,000. Net annual income £44,664 (entitledto.co.uk). No benefits, as earnings too high.

So, in return for earning and extra £52,260 under Scenario B, the extra take home pay is £676 a year. That's a marginal tax rate of 98.7%.

Do you see a tiny problem here?

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Typos above, can't work out how to edit my post

- not smiley but B)

- in B) source should be "thesalarycalculator.co.uk" (also spelt wrong in a)

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120k is an exaggeration. But even quite high earners can be little better off.

To take an example, two parents, 3 teenage children, 1 parent working, living in west London:

a) Scenario A - 35 hours a week at £7 an hour, gross annual income £12,740, net annual income £11,618 (thesalarycaluclator.co.uk). Total benefits eligbile including tax credits, housing benefit, child benefit, council tax support = £32,370 (entitledto.co.uk). Total after tax income £43,988.

B) Scenario B - A well paying job at £65,000. Net annual income £44,664 (entitledto.co.uk). No benefits, as earnings too high.

So, in return for earning and extra £52,260 under Scenario B, the extra take home pay is £676 a year. That's a marginal tax rate of 98.7%.

Do you see a tiny problem here?

There's a bright blue disclaimer on the entitledto site highlighting the benefit cap and that the figures might well come out wrong.

In fact as far as I know the calculator itself has been down for a while as it wasn't correctly removing income earned from benefits received (source: friend who works for a housing association).

Part of your problem there is that your initial data set is almost certainly wrong for Scenario A.

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The real problem is five years of wildly out-of-control spending by this unimprovably stupid ******* to keep his City gangster friends in clover.

George-Osborne-011.jpg

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a "b" followed by a ")" will produce not "b )" but B). Silly, but there it is.

Which ever idiot coded the smileys needs shooting b ) should have been left as is but the smiley should have been b_) so people could still use the bloody bracket function without it turning into a stupid face!

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I've done both mate. Low wages and benefits out of work.

I think the cost of living needs lowering before benefits drop or wages rise basically. The biggest benefit factor when out of work was always rent, and mine always seemed to go to a 60+ boomer landlord cash-in-hand.

It was never "me" that did well out of benefits and I don't think it is in the vast majority of instances. 70% of what the state gave me went straight back out in rent. I see a lot of folk trapped by this now in my area. Why work when most of what you earn gets taken? Folk know they'll never be able to break that cycle as owning on a minimum wage is an impossibility now. It wasn't 20 years ago (or it was at least far more attainable if you grafted as I know folk who did it). Aspiration needs to be given back to the poor before we kick them IMHO.

If we continue to prop property and price the poor off the board from the start I really don't think any of us should be surprised so many of them now refuse to play.

A rent price crash would be ideal , as benefits ( esp housing benefit) are helping keep a floor under rents then some pain has to felt by someone to achieve this. Rents are propped up by the taxpayer by 25 billion a year , at what point does even the most ardent supporter of benefits say this is too much, 100 billion? 200 billion a year.

I do not want my taxes( taken with menace) used against me to push up my own personal cost of living.

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Useful points being made by some.

There is a definitely a threshold where under certain circumstances you can find yourself working and earning a lot more for little extra reward. The ridiculous price of housing and other costs does some odd things to people's sense of wealth, well being, and aspirations. For example, someone posted on another thread about being people envious of social housing. That would have been unthinkable a couple of decades ago.

But having tried both poverty, and so called "squeezed middle" - I can tell you which I prefer.

Everyone's having to make cut backs because of the recession. Perhaps it does feel harder for the upper middle classes/not quite banker levels of wealthy than it does for the poor - particularly if some around you still seem to be doing well and you've never had to do so before. If you are poor, well from experience, you are likely used to making cut backs and struggling. Feeling hard up is all relative I suppose. Distressing for both certainly.

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Look, Listen......Let Me Be Clear.....typical politician speech....... Have I got your attention, am on your side.......doesn't matter how much some earn or have access to, they will never be satisfied or content.......Next.

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I have no sympathy for this joker who sends his kids to private school then moans about being poor. Everyone in Britain deserves a free, quality education, and if you find that politicians are busy dismantling the state sector, meaning your kids are screwed unless you send them to Eton, then stop bloody voting for the shysters who are destroying your children's life chances. Go and improve your local comprehensive.

But the squeezed middle is certainly a real thing, despite the ridiculous article. In fact the family the Mail found for it is so laughably distant from a 'normal' family I suspect they do it deliberately in order to undermine their own argument.

The problem with benefits is that the poor - especially those with kids - get housing for free. What wage do you have to earn in London in order to comfortably buy a house? Something like 80k? More? And you have to be certain you'll keep that wage level - and, if you're a couple, stay together - for the next 25 years. What percentage of people can manage that?

If you're a nominally successful professional slaving all week for 30k or so, paying astronomical rents, maybe stuck in a house share, with seemingly no hope of decent housing ever, then you're going to look at the single mothers in social housing with an envious eye, no matter how grim the lives of single mothers actually are.

Working people deserve better housing than people who don't work. Otherwise what is the point? As with so many other things in this country, the dysfunctional state of housing is at the root of this problem. Sort out housing, and people will be more understanding and have more empathy for those who have fallen on hard times.

But of course 'more empathy' is exactly what our politicians don't want in the electorate. See also the real Mail article telling us all how great it is to be a psychopath.

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