Is the Prime Minister right to say that inequality has gone down?

Published on by

Wages & Income

In the brave new world of ‘alternative facts’, it’s natural to take politicians’ claims with more than the usual dose of salt. That’s particularly true when rivals appear to take very different positions on verifiable points of fact. With the Prime Minister claiming yesterday that “inequality has gone down under this government” and Jeremy Corbyn … Continued

READ MORE

Is the Chancellor about to start closing the self-employment tax gap?

Published on by

Wages & Income

The Treasury is worried the self-employed aren’t paying enough tax. Conservative backbenchers are worried the Chancellor might do something about it. But what are the facts lying behind this pre-Budget anxiety outbreak? First things first, the Treasury is right to think there’s a fairly simple issue with the self-employed and tax – they pay a … Continued

READ MORE

Automatic success for the people?

Published on by

Wages & Income

Political commentators love a good high-profile policy disaster. Think NHS IT systems or the poll tax. But successes happen too. Usually they’re small scale, making incremental improvements, often for specific parts of the population. But just sometimes they’re a really big deal – fundamentally changing outcomes for millions of people. When such victories come along, … Continued

READ MORE

2016 was a good year for living standards – but families didn’t splash out

Published on by

Wages & Income

Today’s annual Family Spending release contains the usual wealth of useful information on household spending patterns. It shows that overall spending was largely unchanged in 2015-16 (at £529 a week) relative to the previous year, once inflation is accounted for. Indeed, having fallen slightly from 2006 and then increased gently after 2012, average household spending is little … Continued

READ MORE