Acting like an opposition while in government can only take you so far

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Incomes and Inequality

Tomorrow David Cameron will complete the beauty parade of party leaders offering their take on crony capitalism, following on from Ed Miliband’s conference speech, which he amplified last week, and Nick Clegg’s call for a “John Lewis economy”. Expect Cameron to balance a fierce rhetorical attack on boardroom excess (“fill your boots capitalism”) with plenty … Continued

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Food and fuel prices will be key to inflation in the year ahead

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Public Finances and the Economy

Backed by strong discounting from retailers, RPI fell from 5.2 per cent in November to 4.8 per cent in December, while CPI fell from 4.8 per cent to 4.2 per cent, its largest one month drop since December 2008. Stressed-out-by-inflationThat of course means inflation remains at more than twice the level of its Bank of … Continued

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The scandal of low-paid care workers

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Jobs, Skills and Pay

A friend who is a care worker employed by an agency has a moan to me about her work. Repeated 15 minute slots with a client followed by a frantic dash to another part of the city she lives in to do the same again. Care in a hurry, on the cheap. Welcome to home … Continued

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Lessons from America

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Incomes and Inequality

In the three months I’ve been working on low income households in the US, a wry smile and an emphatic “no” is the almost universal response I get to my question “does the US have any lessons for the UK?” It is certainly true that American safety nets, where they exist at all, are more … Continued

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Plugging the gap in the rental market

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Housing, Wealth and Debt

We may be out of recession but the housing market story continues to be one of doom and gloom. House prices continue to fall, the mortgage market continues to contract. While even deposit ready first-time buyers are struggling, the situation is exponentially worse for low-to-middle earners. With just 2 per cent of mortgages available at … Continued

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Changing the conversation in 2012

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Incomes and Inequality

Low growth, high unemployment, deeper cuts, falling wages, and a further reduction in the living standards of working families. Just in case you were under any doubt, 2012 is going to feel like one long Groundhog Day, a darker version of its grim predecessor. There will, of course, be many new twists and turns. But … Continued

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