After the recession, the real pain begins

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Public Finances and the Economy

Fuel price protests rattled Blair. The 10p tax row dogged Brown. Is David Cameron ready for the storm that his huge raid on our personal finances is about to unleash? Economic narratives take shape like stalactites: the drip, drip of daily headlines deposits its wisdom and, before you know it, there’s a solid consensus. For … Continued

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Happy New Year?

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Incomes and Inequality

Well, after lots of talk of fiscal consolidation, the first real day of reckoning has arrived: today VAT rose to 20% – the first increase in the main rate of VAT since 1991, moving the UK from below average to nearer the top of international comparisons. Fiscal consolidation may be necessary – to some degree … Continued

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Social mobility and earnings change over the life-cycle

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Incomes and Inequality

Since the emergency budget in June of this year, government policymaking has been unswervingly focused on reducing the deficit. However, the coalition has asked to be judged not just on its impact on the public finances, but also on the progress it makes in increasing social mobility. Social mobility is undoubtedly an important issue. It … Continued

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We’re all squeezed now

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Incomes and Inequality

[Extract] Research suggests that most British people will call themselves middle class by 2020. But many will find it increasingly hard to achieve the lifestyle that is supposed to go with it. It is one of the most famous sketches in comedy: John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett, lined up in descending height, dressed … Continued

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Will we catch the American bug?

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Incomes and Inequality

The American middle-class has been complaining since the 1970s about their stagnating incomes. The economic growth that the country has seen since then has gone mainly to the better off. Households at or below the middle of the income distribution have seen no significant rise in their living standards for a generation. That certainly can’t … Continued

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A lost decade, not a burst bubble

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Incomes and Inequality

From time to time we’ll be posting pieces from the USA and elsewhere to gain international insights on the plight of low-to-middle earners. Here Sophia Parker, a Research Associate of the Foundation, sets out the growing crisis facing low-and-middle income America and considers what it means for the Obama administration. “The problem”, declares American academic … Continued

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