Four tests for Osborne’s Budget


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Welfare & Tax Reform

This post originally appeared on The Spectator With the Coalition taking pre-Budget briefing to new levels you’d be excused for thinking there’s little we don’t know about tomorrow’s statement. But here are four questions we can’t yet answer, and that will be crucial to assessing whether this is a Budget for low-to-middle earners as the Chancellor claims: … Continued

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The case for looser childcare ratios rests on confusion

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Childcare & Families

This blog originally appeared on the New Statesman The government claims to want to reduce costs and increase quality. It can’t have it both ways. This morning’s announcement on childcare ratios should be just the hors d’oeuvre before the government sets out its plans to increase childcare support for parents. According to the latest rumours, it now … Continued

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These wage stats don’t tell us much about living standards

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Wages & Income

This morning the government released some interesting new stats on wages. It claims that 90 per cent of people saw their earnings rise in the year to April 2013. As I tweeted earlier this week, the data source that the government are using tells a more positive story about wages than the more regular earnings data that drives most … Continued

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The Treasury has a point on living standards — but it ignores the role of inequality

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Shared Growth

One of the big surprises in today’s Autumn Statement lies in the new OBR projections. Growth has been revised up as expected—at least in the short-term. But wage forecasts are down. Amazingly, after today’s largely positive economic news, the squeeze on wages is now going to be even longer than the OBR thought in March. The updates reflect … Continued

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Pay: the lost decade

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Wages & Income

Recent good news on the jobs front should not obscure the fact that real wages have been falling for at least four years. Overall, the wage squeeze has created a lost decade for pay New Office for National Statistics data out this morning confirms what many workers will already know: the wage squeeze continues. In … Continued

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