Poorer families saw their incomes fall by 7% in the last two years, shocking new figures reveal.
Official statistics show median incomes for the poorest fifth of people fell by some 4.3% a year in 2016-17 and 2018-19.
It followed four years of incomes growing by an average of 3.4% a year until 2016-17.
The Resolution Foundation said the fall in income was “disastrous”.
The Latest figures released by the Office For National Statistics show the incomes of the poorest 20% are now no higher than they were as far back as 2004.
Over the same period, the median income of the richest fifth fell by just 0.4%.
Adam Corlett, Senior Economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: “Today’s ONS data lays bare the incredibly weak living standards growth the UK has experienced in recent years, contributing to a lost decade of income growth."
“The income squeeze, which abated in the mid-2010s, has returned in recent years.
He added: "The new stagnation has affected households of all kinds, but the recent squeeze has been much worse for poorer households who have seen big living standards falls.
“Crucially this has been driven by policy choices, with gains from higher employment more than wiped out by benefit cuts. The result is that poorer households are no better off than they were in the mid-2000s.”
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