Building on Britain’s living standards recovery next year will require decisive action by policy makers

Published on by

Incomes and Inequality

British policy makers might well have had a contented Christmas break. At least by recent standards. In 2015 employment reached record highs while real earnings growth returned after a six-year absence. Crucially those on the lowest earnings saw the biggest rises at over three per cent. But policy makers from the Treasury to the Bank … Continued

READ MORE

Tax expenditures deserve far more scrutiny

Published on by

Tax and Welfare

Last month, the UK government presented its Spending Review, setting out departmental budgets for the next four years. There were protections for some departments and large cuts (though smaller than expected) for others. Coming after years of previous cuts, many departmental budgets by 2019 will be only half what they were in 2009. Opinions will … Continued

READ MORE

Dealing with the housing aspiration gap

Published on by

Housing, Wealth and Debt

Britain’s reputation as a nation of home-owners is under threat. While it’s true that just under two-thirds (65 per cent) of us own our own place, the home-ownership rate has fallen from 73 per cent since 2007. This downward trend has occurred despite the proportion owning their home outright continuing to rise gently in recent … Continued

READ MORE

“An opportunity that must not be missed” – council tax reform in Scotland and beyond

Published on by

Tax and Welfare

Scotland’s Commission on Local Tax Reform has today released its report – recommending the abolition and replacement of the current council tax system. Few would argue that council tax in its current form is particularly sensible or fair, so what happens next ahead of Scotland’s May elections should be of interest far beyond Holyrood. The … Continued

READ MORE

Five charts that show who spends what in the UK

Published on by

Incomes and Inequality

The issue of living standards has – rightly – risen up the agenda in recent years, following the unprecedented six year-pay squeeze and severe hit to household incomes in the years after the financial crisis of 2008. Yet too little attention is given to the other side of the living standards equation: the cost of … Continued

READ MORE