These are the stories that bring the statistics of austerity and inequality to life. The dignity, work ethic and stoicism of the families in this book should haunt every politician and media commentator who has painted the false picture of a 'benefits culture' and 'shirkers and scroungers'; this illuminating book should be required reading for them.
author (with Richard Wilkinson) of The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone
The life experiences reported in Just Managing? were told to community researchers as part of the 2014-15 Getting By? project, which was supported by the Liverpool City Council Action Group on Poverty. The study, conducted over one year, captured the experiences of thirty Liverpool families in which one or both parents were in low-paid employment. Using weekly diaries to track their income and spending, and giving regular in-depth interviews, they revealed the challenges they faced as they struggled to cope in their day-to-day lives.
The Getting By? project culminated in the creation of the gettingby.org.uk website (now archived), a dedicated YouTube channel, and in the publication of this report.