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Once interest rates start rising, how can indebted households be helped through the painful transition?

Date: 24. July 2014
Gavin Kelly

Whether it is this autumn, the New Year or shortly after next May’s election, everyone knows that interest rates are going to start rising sometime relatively soon. Yet despite the endless "guess the month" speculation about the precise timing of the first rise, little thought has actually been given to the bigger and longer-term question of ensuring the right framework is in place to ease the painful transition back to more normal interest rates for Britain’s borrowers.

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Living standards: what happens next?

Date: 15. July 2014
Matthew Whittaker

Going into next year’s election – the ‘living standards election’ – party political strategists are likely to fret about the length of voters’ memories. When asked whether the government has made them better off, will they compare their position with last year or with five years ago? The depth of the decline in incomes associated with the downturn and the gradual pace of recovery means that the distinction will be an important one. 

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By omitting the earnings of one in seven workers from jobs data, our economic policymakers are operating in the dark

Date: 10. July 2014
Gavin Kelly

Whether you view the self-employed as the silent victims of our invidious jobs market or emblems of a new spirit of entrepreneurialism spreading through society, what is beyond doubt is that the ranks of those working for themselves are swelling by the day.

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Why our policy-makers have little idea of what workers are really paid

Date: 10. July 2014
Laura Gardiner

We are frequently told that earnings are the black spot on the otherwise positive labour market story, but in truth they are also the blind spot. The reason is that none of our official earnings measures captures the growing ranks of the self-employed, who now make up one in seven workers.

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The poverty challenge remains – but its nature is changing

Date: 1. July 2014
David Finch

Today’s annual poverty update from the DWP is, on the face of it, fairly encouraging.  Despite the poor state of the economy in 2012-13 – the period the latest figures relate to - child poverty edged down slightly, to 17 per cent from 18 per cent in 2011-12. Having fallen quite sharply at the start of the downturn, between 2007 and 2010, relative child poverty is now at its lowest level since the 1980s.

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Rethinking post-crash social policy – IPPR’s Condition of Britain

Date: 19. June 2014
Gavin Kelly

Another day, another think-tank report. That, no doubt, is how it must feel to news desks, political hacks and listeners of the Today programme alike. 

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Will the return of economic growth mean rising wages for workers?

Date: 19. June 2014
Gavin Kelly

How effective will advanced economies be at translating economic growth into higher wages for those in the low to middle part of the distribution and is this link weakening over time, reinforcing a ‘trickle-up’ tendency in mature economies? 

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The Bank’s conundrum countdown - Tightening policy in the shadow of a debt overhang

Date: 17. June 2014
Matthew Whittaker

If Mary Poppins taught us anything, it’s that a British bank is run with precision. But against a backdrop of rapidly changing and sometimes conflicting economic data, the balancing act currently facing the Bank of England requires a level of calibration rarely before seen. Clearly monetary policy must be tightened over the coming months and years. 

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Deconstructing the wages data

Date: 11. June 2014
Laura Gardiner

It might not hold quite the same broad appeal as the start of the World Cup, but today’s labour market statistics release from the ONS has been hotly anticipated nonetheless, given the centrality of this data to our understanding of the economic recovery and the timing of interest rate increases.

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