Act now or shrink later: trade unions and the generational challenge

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Jobs, Skills and Pay

Union membership to fall below one in five employees by 2030 unless current trends reversed The future should be full of potential for trade unions. Four in five people in Great Britain think that trade unions are “essential” to protect workers’ interests. Public concerns about low pay have soared to record levels over recent years. And, … Continued

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Who will reap the gains of the recovery?

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Incomes and Inequality

Poor productivity is only one part of the post-millennial wage disappointment story The productivity crisis of the last few years is far from over but economic recovery is now well-established and there are at least a few flickers of life in the official data on output per hour. The widely shared assumption, often unspoken, is … Continued

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What impact will prolonged austerity have on interest rates?

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Public Finances and the Economy

Time to shine a light on how fiscal and monetary policy interact With prominent members of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) – not least the Governor – lining up in recent weeks to talk up the prospect of rate rises at some point in the coming months, we can expect next week’s … Continued

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Raising low pay is welcome. But we should still fear the forces hurting family incomes

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Jobs, Skills and Pay

George Osborne’s audacious unveiling of what he termed the “national living wage” dominated the budget coverage and succeeded in delighting, outraging and confusing in almost equal measure. Low-pay campaigners were certainly buoyed, just as some business leaders were appalled at what they viewed as a Milibandesque intrusion into pay-setting. Many others were left puzzling over … Continued

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It’s time to talk about tax relief – how more accountability on tax expenditure could help ease the welfare squeeze

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Tax and Welfare

As the Budget approaches we await the details of deep cuts in welfare spending, but the fact that they are coming is beyond doubt. With the main tax rises having been blocked off, and public services already facing a faster pace of cuts than in the last parliament, every sinew is being strained in the … Continued

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Will wages fill the tax credit gap? Don’t Budget for it

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Tax and Welfare

Recent high-profile converts are bringing headlines and new vim to the debate on working poverty. Good. But with this comes a cacophony of confusion about the National Minimum Wage (NMW), Living Wage, the role of tax credits and the likelihood that a recovery in earnings will compensate for cuts to in-work support. And this risks … Continued

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