The Trade Union Congress' (TUC) general secretary has called for the national minimum wage to be increased.
Brendan Barber cited new research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which found that a single person living in Britain needs to earn at least £13,400 a year before tax to afford a basic standard of living. This rises to £26,800 for a couple with two children.
Currently, state benefits provide for less than half the minimum budget for single people and two-thirds for those with children, while pensioners receive three-quarters of the basic income.
According to these figures, a single person working full-time would have to be paid £6.88 an hour to earn an annual income of £13,400, but the minimum wage currently only stands at £5.52.
This, Mr Barber said, "is useful evidence that benefits rates and the national minimum wage should both be set higher".