The scandal of low-paid care workers

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Jobs, Skills and Pay

A friend who is a care worker employed by an agency has a moan to me about her work. Repeated 15 minute slots with a client followed by a frantic dash to another part of the city she lives in to do the same again. Care in a hurry, on the cheap. Welcome to home … Continued

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Lessons from America

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Incomes and Inequality

In the three months I’ve been working on low income households in the US, a wry smile and an emphatic “no” is the almost universal response I get to my question “does the US have any lessons for the UK?” It is certainly true that American safety nets, where they exist at all, are more … Continued

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Plugging the gap in the rental market

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Housing, Wealth and Debt

We may be out of recession but the housing market story continues to be one of doom and gloom. House prices continue to fall, the mortgage market continues to contract. While even deposit ready first-time buyers are struggling, the situation is exponentially worse for low-to-middle earners. With just 2 per cent of mortgages available at … Continued

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Changing the conversation in 2012

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Incomes and Inequality

Low growth, high unemployment, deeper cuts, falling wages, and a further reduction in the living standards of working families. Just in case you were under any doubt, 2012 is going to feel like one long Groundhog Day, a darker version of its grim predecessor. There will, of course, be many new twists and turns. But … Continued

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Uneven inflation costing low-to-middle earners £150 a year

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Public Finances and the Economy

Today’s figures from the Office for National Statistics shows that inflation rose in the UK in November, with the CPI increasing from 3.2% to 3.3% – above the government’s official target of 2% for the eleventh month in a row – and the wider RPI measure rising from 4.5% to 4.7%. With average annual earnings growth sitting … Continued

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Women’s work – an opportunity for growth we can’t afford to pass up

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Jobs, Skills and Pay

As economic forecasts continue to head south, it’s worth pausing to ask a simple question: Where exactly do we expect future growth in living standards to come from – even once a recovery takes hold? The list of possible answers to that question isn’t long.  In fact, when it comes to household income growth, there are effectively … Continued

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