This annual update of JRF’s ‘minimum income standard’ (MIS) is based on what members of the public think people need to achieve a socially acceptable standard of living. The 2013 figures show a continuing squeeze on incomes relative to rising costs, only partly alleviated by increased tax allowances. Single people need to earn at least £16,850 a year before tax in 2013 for a minimum acceptable living standard. Couples with two children need to earn at least £19,400 each. Out-of-work benefits remain well below the MIS level, but pensioners claiming Pension Credit receive incomes close to minimum requirements. Over the past five years, working-age benefits have deteriorated substantially relative to MIS.