Analysis and action on living standards
The Resolution Foundation is an independent think-tank focused on improving the living standards of those on low-to-middle incomes. We work across a wide range of economic and social policy, combining our core purpose with a commitment to analytical rigour. These twin pillars of rigour and purpose underpin everything we do and make us the leading UK authority on securing widely-shared economic growth.
The Foundation’s established work programme includes incomes and inequality; jobs, skills and pay; housing, wealth and debt; tax and welfare; public finances and the economy.
We inform public debate, alongside key decision makers in government, the private sector, and civil society. Alongside regular publications from our team on a range of policy issues, we hold a wide ranging programme of events, hosting diverse speakers from academia, the voluntary sector and business, and regularly engage with politicians from across the political spectrum. To learn more about our work and research areas, please visit this section of our website.
The Foundation is led by Torsten Bell (Chief Executive), Mike Brewer (Deputy Chief Executive), Gavin Kelly (Chair) and David Willetts (President of the Advisory Council and Intergenerational Centre).The Foundation is overseen by a board of trustees, led by its Founder Clive Cowdery, and primarily funded by the Resolution Trust. It occasionally partners with other organisations. When this is the case the logo of the partner organisation is clearly displayed on any project outputs.
The Foundation conducts authoritative analytical research on living standards in the UK, working across a wide range of issues with a specific focus on the experiences of low to middle income households. Typically these are considered to be working households with incomes below the median in the UK.
There are eight million low-to-middle income families in the UK, including twelve million adults and nearly seven million children. As each includes at least one working adult, they are not the very poorest in society, but they are often struggling to get by. While national debate has focused on the “squeezed middle” or “just about managing” families, this attention has not been matched by an adequate policy response. Every year we publish an annual Living Standards Outlook, and a Living Standards Audit.
The Foundation was founded in 2005 with the purpose of producing high quality research and analysis that raised the profile of the challenges facing those on low to middle incomes, and developing policy solutions to these problems.
From 2005 – 2010 the Foundation built a consensus on the need to fill the gap in independent financial advice available to low and middle income families, and secured a government commitment to increasing the provision of generic financial advice.
From 2010 – 2015 the Foundation’s work focused on the underlying living standards of the low to middle income group, with a strong focus on the jobs market. During this time it hosted the high-profile Commission on Living Standards and the Bain review into the future of the minimum wage.
Between 2016 and 2018 the Foundation hosted the Intergenerational Commission, which brought together leaders from business, academia and policy-making to devise a means of repairing the social contract between generations.
Since 2018, we have calculated the real Living Wage – a voluntary hourly pay rate that is based on what families need to get by.
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