Blog & Articles

Labour must now clear a higher bar on the minimum wage

Date: 19. September 2013
James Plunkett

Vince Cable's announcements have allowed the Lib Dems to make the running on low pay but they still leave an opportunity to set out a tougher approach.

This year's pre-conference rumours gave unusual prominence to the minimum wage. After the consensus reached in the late 2000s, leading thinkers in all parties have begun to argue that it's time for the system to be strengthened. There were even suggestions that the Conservatives planned to announce an increase in the minimum wage at their conference. With as much as a fifth of the UK workforce now struggling on low pay, the problem has become too big to ignore.

read more


Living wage – coming to a city near you

Date: 10. May 2012
Gavin Kelly

This post originally appeared on Gavin's New Statesman blog

The last time a letter left on a desk caused such a stir it involved an exchange between two senior politicians about the future of the country’s finances. This time the note was from a group of Whitehall cleaners to Iain Duncan Smith asking him to make good on his commitment to make work pay and make his department, DWP, a living wage employer. The fact that it so caught the public mood says something about how the question of low pay has risen in salience. 

This is in no small part due to the success of the living wage campaign, a grass-roots movement formed just over a decade ago, to push for a decent wage – above the minimum wage - for workers. It has helped shine a light on the rising problem of in-work poverty. In an era when there are many structural forces bearing down on low pay – from shifts in technology and trade to the continued demise of collective bargaining and the real terms falls in the minimum wage - the momentum behind the campaign for a living wage is a rare example of at least some countervailing pressure.

read more


More than a minimum?

Date: 17. April 2012
Gavin Kelly

This post first appeared on Gavin Kelly's New Statesman blog.

Once in a while a policy moves from being partisan and divisive to representing the mainstream consensus in a very short period of time. That is, or at least was, the case with the national minimum wage (NMW). It wasn’t so long ago it was denigrated by much of the business community and the then Conservative opposition - but only a few years later it acquired a very different status as a statement of the bleeding obvious. The result, according to a timely new report by Professor Alan Manning, is that it has ‘settled down into a premature staid middle age’ following a noisy infancy without ever having passed through a teenage rebellion.

read more


Money in hands

The perils of welfare dependency – but not the kind you’re thinking of

Date: 5. July 2011
Donald Hirsch and

Centre for Research in Social Policy, Loughborough University

For the entire 30 years of my working life, reforms to our welfare system have marched to the drumbeat of calls to reduce “dependency”, by getting more people out to work. So hard have governments tried to achieve this aim that they have created a new kind of dependency, this time among working families receiving huge sums in tax credits. Even though this can sometimes mean giving someone as much state support in work as they would have got out of work (especially if working requires expensive, state-supported childcare costs), it has brought huge benefits to families. Not only can working feel good in itself (though not in all jobs), but the combination of state handouts with wages has brought many families out of poverty.

read more


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.

read more


Share this

Filters

Rss Feed

Archive

Tag Cloud

Gavin Kelly Resolution Foundation living standards childcare James Plunkett Housing inflation wages tax credits Squeezed Middle tax Vidhya Alakeson coalition inequality Matthew Whittaker minimum wage new statesman Debt Spending Review female employment low pay Squeezed Britain Universal Credit autumn statement growth Labour USA welfare women work incentives Budget 2012 employment generation rent giselle cory household income IFS institutional investment labour market living wage low to middle income politics social mobility affordability Audit budget 2011 cameron Commission on Living Standards distribution earnings economy Ed Miliband education fiscal choices interest rates living low pay commission older workers recovery skills social care spending round sr2013 unemployment zero hours Affordable Housing America budget child benefit child poverty cost of living David Cameron debt target degree Guardian income jared bernstein joe coward lee savage Lib Dems living costs measuring poverty middle class Obama pay poverty recession tax cuts uk 10p arrears benefits borrowing Commission cpi cuts david willetts debt forgivenes dilnot Donald Hirsch fiscal forbearance gearing George Osborne great stagnation household household debt housing market huffington post income tax ippr Ipsos MORI jobs gap lane kenworthy Low earners matthew pennycook mortgages Nick Clegg pension Pensions personal allowance personal allowances polarisation precarious work prices prospect q2 growth regional renting rpi shared ownership social housing social mobility foundation Sophia Parker standards sutton trust tax changes tax relief think tank think-tank underemployment Wage squeeze 2013 Work working poor zero hours contract 'Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings' 'earnings squeeze' 'squeeze' 'wage stagnation' #ows £10000 2011 2012 50p 99% a matter of time Alan Johnson Alex Hurrell allowance andrew haldane Anna Vignoles apprenticeships ASHE assets Australia bank of england below minimum wage benefit freezes borgen Boris Johnson budget 2013 cap care assistant centreforum chancellor childcar choices CiF citizens UK Coalition politics Conor D'Arcy conservatives Cost of Motherhood costs council tax council tax benefit CPIH daniel chandler datablog de-coupling debt peril deficit department for education dependency election election 2015 enforcement equity release family felicity dennistoun Financial Times first-time buyers food prices full employment gap GDP gender gingerbread good life gregg growth without gain HELP Committee higher rate higher rate tax relief hmrc holmes homeownership hourglass household finances household spending illegal in work income inequality incomes increase Independent indignados international jobs John Van Reenen jrf Labour Party Left Foot Forward liberal democrats living wage foundation LMIs low middle earners Low Pay Britain low pay threshold low to middle income earners low wage low wage work machin marginal tax rate marriage tax allowance matt whittaker matthew hancock mayhew median real wage median wage Mervyn King Middle Britain miminum wage minimum income standards missing out mobility monetary policy Montague mortgage market mothers national minimum wage netmums new statesman blog new year newby newham niesr nil hours number paid below minimum wage nursery world OBR occupy occupy wall street OECD older ons over 50s paul gregg pay and pensions pay progression pensions relief personal personal finance pledge cards policy politicans poll population precarious employment predistribution prescription charges priorities private rented private rented sector private sector growth progression prs public sector public services public spending ratios reduce credit card reform Regions Rented Sector resolution foudnation retirement robin wales robots routine jobs RPIJ rss savings Senate shared shereen hussein social society southern cross spending cuts squeezed state state pension age statistics steve machin tax and benefit changes tax and benefits Tax Benefits technology The Spirit Level threshold tories travel time Treasury trends unison university US election van reenen VAT voters voting wage wage growth wage inequality Welfare Debate welfare state White Paper workers Working part time lower skilled job young people Youth unemployment youth wages