Blog & Articles

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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It's too early to be pessimistic about boosting living standards

Date: 11. February 2014
Gavin Kelly

 Things are likely to stop getting worse sometime soon, progress will then be painfully slow, and it’s going to be an awful long time before they get back to where they were before the crash. 

That’s the gist of a major new report on living standards by the Resolution Foundation, which will show that typical household incomes are set to start growing in 2015 and then creep upwards thereafter. But by 2018 they are still likely to be 3.5 per cent below their pre-crisis peak (5 per cent below if we exclude pensioners households).

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The generation that’s going backwards

Date: 19. May 2013
Gavin Kelly

Falling incomes, rising prices, impossible debts ... even before the crash some workers faced a suffocating squeeze

When John F. Kennedy declared that “a rising tide lifts all boats” he was encapsulating the postwar belief that growth would generate steady rises in living standards for all.

Even if richer households were sometimes the biggest gainers, there was at least the guarantee that every household would enjoy some advance. Sadly, even if it once was true, a rising economic tide no longer necessarily helps all individuals or households. Even in better times a large slice of working families were struggling to keep their heads above water.

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Family debt

Household finances are a ‘millstone’ around the neck of recovery

Date: 25. August 2011
James Plunkett and

This blog first appeared on Left Foot Forward

A new poll out today from the Resolution Foundation confirms the extent to which poor household finances are now exerting a downward pull on the UK economy. The poll, carried out for the Foundation by ipsos MORI, finds that almost half of all people on low-to-middle incomes now say have no cash left over at the end of each month. More than one in four say they don’t make any regular savings. The findings reveal in stark terms that millions of ordinary households – not the poorest, and the vast majority in work – are now living on the edge of their means.


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Shop Front

Britain’s Recovery Rests On The Shoulders Of Suburbia

Date: 30. June 2011
James Plunkett and

This blog first appeared in Business Insider

Enfield, North London is trademark British suburbia. Middle-income but with patches of poverty and patches of wealth, the high street is dominated by chain stores and a scattering of chain-owned pubs. On first sight, there are few signs here that the UK is recovering slowly from a deep recession. But look closer and things don’t look so good. The local council is one of many in Britain to adopt the policy of dressing up closed-down storefronts to resemble thriving local stores. With many of the facades now entering their third year, some are faded and peeling. On one, a scribble of graffiti backs the ‘BNP’, a far right fascist party.

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