Archive for May 2011

wallet

Why GDP growth does not mean recovery for everyone

Date: 27. May 2011
James Plunkett and

This Blog first appeared on the New Statesman

It's fairly widely assumed that the outcome of the next election will pivot on the strength -- or otherwise -- of Britain's economic recovery. But what kind of recovery are we seeking? The perceived wisdom suggests that the key figure to look out for is strong and sustained GDP growth. Other stats -- like those for household spending released this week -- are pored over mainly for what they tell us about when growth will return.

 

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Why the 'squeezed middle' is here to stay, Observer

Date: 22. May 2011
Gavin Kelly

Gavin Kelly, deputy chief of staff in Downing Street from 2007-2010 and now chief executive of the Resolution Foundation, explains why solving the problems of the 'squeezed middle' will change ...

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House of Congree

Obama's trillion dollar question

Date: 18. May 2011
Sophia Parker and

It was only a month ago that America narrowly escaped a Federal government shutdown, caused by the intense difficulties of reaching a consensus on the 2011 budget. But if that skirmish seemed significant, it is nothing compared to the battle that is erupting between Democrats and Republicans over Obama’s 2012 budget proposals, and his accompanying plans for how to take $4 trillion out of the deficit over the next decade.

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Living Wage blog

Making pay work: can the living wage provide a comprehensive route to improving living standards?

Date: 9. May 2011
Matthew Whittaker and Kayte Lawton

Earlier this month, the living wage campaign celebrated its ten year anniversary with a gathering of two and half thousand supporters in central London. It is an important time for the movement, as it seeks to significantly extend the scope of the living wage by targeting major low-wage employers. Achieving this ambition is likely to raise new challenges, pointing to the need for a better understanding of the costs, benefits and potential trade-offs of the concept.

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Credit cards

Will squeezed households really borrow more to prop up living standards?

Date: 4. May 2011
Gavin Kelly and Matthew Whittaker

The blog also appears on the New Statesman and Left Foot Forward.

What are we to make of different views on the extent to which growing household debt will offset the squeeze in living standards in the coming years?

The independent Office for Budget Responsibility caused a bit of a stir at the time of the Budget when it suggested that household debt is set to rise over the rest of the Parliament – from £1.6 trillion in 2011 to £2.1 trillion in 2015, or from 160% of household disposable income to 175%. Rising debt will sit alongside low savings, so that the ratio of household saving to disposable income falls to around 3½% – half its average over the last 50 years – for the duration of the OBR’s forecast period. 

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