As you can see from the graph above, in the years since the link was broken benefits have risen while Asylum Support has flatlined.
The effect is most notable in 2020, when Universal Credit was raised by £20 per week and Asylum Support by only £1.82.
This decade and a half of flatlining means that Asylum Support was lower in 2022 – £40.85 – than it was in 2008 – when it was £42.16.
But pretty much the same amount right? Not quite. Because of inflation, the value of this money has decreased over time, leaving a difference between its nominal value and its real value.
Nominal value just means the number on the amount of money. The nominal value of £40 in 2008 is the same as £40 in 2022.
Real value is adjusted to take inflation into account.
We all know that inflation has risen quickly in the last six months, but even when inflation is low it adds up to big change over time. What might sound like a small amount in nominal terms could be huge in real terms.
A quick Google tells you that the nominal value of a first class ticket on the Titanic was only £30. Iceberg aside, what a bargain! Until you look at its real value. In today’s money that’s £3,300.
All of which is to say: it’s real value that matters.