7 April 2021
The Minimum Income Standard (MIS) is the income that people need in order to reach a minimum socially acceptable standard of living in St Helena, based on what members of the public think.
The MIS for St Helena was calculated using an international standard methodology by specifying a basket of goods and services required by different types of households in order to meet the needs of these households and to participate in society. Members of the public identified the basket of goods in October 2020 taking into consideration health and well-being, living in a practical way, social participation and interaction, development and opportunity, and choice.
The basket of goods included food, clothing, housing, utilities, transport, and family and social life. The basket is, however, about more than just having these things for survival – it is about having what you need in order to have the opportunities and choices necessary to participate in the community. Therefore it supports social participation and recognises that choice is important, but also that choice cannot be unlimited.
Pricing of the MIS basket took place in late 2020 and early 2021. The MIS that resulted from the St Helena basket of goods for a minimum socially acceptable standard of living was £3.93 per adult per hour for each of two adults in a family of four. This does not include extra requirements for particular individuals and groups (e.g. people with disabilities).
The MIS of £3.93 per hour reflects changing expectations of what is a socially acceptable minimum standard of living on the Island. This is higher than the 2021 Minimum Wage rate of £3.25 per hour and will be one of the factors used to inform the process to set a target Minimum Wage and schedule for achieving that target over the next 3-7 years.
The MIS was developed by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in the UK and it is used in the UK and other places to inform a Minimum Wage.
A report of the MIS exercise is available on the SHG website via: https://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/report-on-the-rebasing-of-the-minimum-income-standard-2020/. It is also available from Social Policy Planner, Ann Muir, via email: Ann.Muir@sainthelena.gov.sh.
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7 April 2021