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Average UK disposable incomes rising – but are the self-employed keeping up?

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Average UK disposable incomes rising – but are the self-employed keeping up?
Josh Hall

Josh Hall

16 January 2017

Average UK net household incomes have risen by £600 in a year, but the self-employed are lagging far behind.

Take-home pay for UK households increased to an average of £26,300 last year, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

So-called ‘income inequality’, measured as the gap in disposable income between the richest and poorest, has now seen a “gradual decline” over the last 10 years according to the agency.

Self-employed earnings falling?

But the picture seems less rosy for the UK’s self-employed. Research published in October by the Resolution Foundation found that self-employed earnings average around £240 a week, down some 15 per cent on two decades ago.

The same report found that average employees’ wages were around £400 a week.

Both employees and the self-employed are also likely to see the pressure of higher inflation hitting their pay, with analysts expecting the cost of living to rise to around three per cent in 2017, up from 1.2 per cent in the year to November.

Prices rising

Figures to be published tomorrow are expected to show the December rate of CPI pushed to 1.4 per cent, driven by higher prices for fuel, food, clothing, and air fares.

This would represent the highest level of the consumer index since its August 2014 reading of 1.5 per cent.

Prices are expected to continue to rise as sterling continues its historic slump. The pound was the worst performing major world currency last year, and yesterday hit its lowest point against the dollar since 1985.

But, while some analysts predict further falls, others see a more positive outlook, citing favourable global conditions for the pound aside from domestic politics.

Do these findings ring true? Let us know your thoughts below.

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