It's interesting article. It is related to the debate about cutting child benefits for what the Tories call "top-earners" (without thinking that they wouldn't cut for a household earning 2x£44k but will cut if they earn 1x£45!
) and taking example of friends of them making £150k/year (they obviously live on another planet).
The author makes a very good summary of the issue here:
In Hastings – and many other places – a salary of £45,000 does make its earner "well-off". It enables the earner to comfortably buy a property and support a family. If a Hastings family on £45,000 moans about child benefit cuts, they are likely to elicit little sympathy.
But in Cambridgeshire and much of the south-east, a salary of £45,000 does not bestow on its recipients much of a sense of prosperity. They face mountainous mortgages to live there, and it's no good saying "go and live in Hastings, then". There aren't any jobs there.
However you will notice that the article concentrates on London, which is not Sussex. Moreover it says:
The average earnings of the 1,371,000 males who live and work in London is £50,875. If you take the 838,000 in inner London, the average is £60,959. These figures are for the mean average (the total sum divided by the number of earners) rather than the median (the middle figure), and City bonuses distort the "mean" figure upwards, but it's still an awful lot of earners on high numbers.
That is a shame that they did not provide the median as you would have seen immediately that it is much lower (a teacher earns £25k, a lot of wages such as Tesco etc make £15k), despite what the journalist says.PS: I had a look at the 2009 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings as pointed out in the article. Indeed the median (not average as I wrote above) is £25,800 in 2009 (with the crisis, things have not changed much). You also see that the median for London is £627x52=£32624 (nearly half the average of £60,959 quoted in the article ! )
In Sussex - South East, the median (and close to the average as all the high salaries are located in London due to the banker bonuses) is £26707.