Could Universal Credit hold the key to reducing child poverty?

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We discovered this morning that the proportion of children living in relative poverty is at its lowest level since the 1980s. Great news of course, but this headline masks a much more complicated – and worrying – picture. Falls in this headline poverty measure – which captures those children living in households with incomes less … Continued

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How do we tackle Britain’s huge, shifting poverty challenge?

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UK poverty rates have been falling relatively steadily since the start of the 1990s. Policy changes have led to particularly significant reductions among pensioners and children. But much less progress has been made among adults without children; and current projections suggest that many of the improvements of recent decades will go into reverse over the … Continued

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Where next for the minimum wage?

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Today marks the first real terms rise in the minimum wage in six years. It speaks volumes about the convulsions in our labour market that something that was once taken completely for granted is now viewed as a significant and welcome departure. And the rise occurs at a time when there is something of a competitive … Continued

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Living standards: what happens next?

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Going into next year’s election – the ‘living standards election’ – party political strategists are likely to fret about the length of voters’ memories. When asked whether the government has made them better off, will they compare their position with last year or with five years ago? The depth of the decline in incomes associated … Continued

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What’s really been happening to living standards?

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Despite the fact that it’s been centre-stage for a number of years, there is still a lot of confusion about the squeeze on household incomes: who has really been hit and by how much?  Given that this will be a central political issue between now and the election it’s worth pausing over. Currently there are … Continued

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