Wealth booms and electoral busts

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Afternoon all, Boris Johnson has decided it’s Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield yes, Andrew Neil no. Apparently this is the punters’ fault for not liking tough interviews any more – so shame on all of us, and definitely not on the PM for running scared. In more positive news, the whole thing is nearly over. … Continued

The Bad Wine Guide

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Afternoon all, Brace, brace – we’re in the crash landing phase of this election campaign. I’m afraid to say none of us are likely to emerge unscathed. Jeremy Corbyn’s spending his time being mauled by Andrew Neil, while Boris Johnson’s gone into hiding. My admiration knows no bounds, and that’s before we get to the … Continued

Torsten Bell
Low pay
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Pay
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Wealth & assets
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Political parties and elections

Question Time’s £80K man was wrong about the top 5%. But the super-rich are on another planet

Those in his earning bracket have far more in common with workers on average pay than they do with the 1%

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f you live in Bolton and earn more than £80,000, you’re rich compared with your neighbours. Really rich. The average pay for all workers is just £22,000 and one in four earns less than £15,000. And yes, you’re still rich among the country as a whole: only 5% of earners make more than £80,000 – … Continued

Tackling inequalities – left, right and centre

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Afternoon all, We’re in manifesto week (or fortnight if the Conservatives hold off until Monday). So far the parties are going LARGE. The Lib Dems, having warned about Labour’s big tax and spend plans back in 2017, decided to…. announce a slightly bigger increase in the size of the state than Labour proposed two years … Continued

The economic backdrop to General Election 2019

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Afternoon all, One operation and a whole world of painkillers later… I may not be making it out of the house but TOTCs can make it to your inbox. As this is the week the election campaign officially kicks off we thought we’d focus on the economic context that it’s taking place within. People used … Continued

Torsten Bell
Demographics
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Political parties and elections

The middle aged, not the middle class, are the new swing voters

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An election is coming. You may have noticed. The early phase of any campaign is the contest about what the election will actually be about – where the battle lines will lie. You want it to be all about Brexit if you’re gunning for the Conservatives or Liberal Democrats, and everything but Brexit if you’re … Continued

The unintended consequences of policies and pollution

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Afternoon all, The election is off. In the horse-racing sense. And Corbs has definitely had the better first week. Donald Trump AND Mike Ashley slagging you off is what winning looks like in the “having the right enemies” school of politics. More worrying for Conservative MPs should be the fact that the campaign has knocked … Continued

Join The New Protest Movement – Fiscal Rebellion

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Afternoon all, The Budget’s off. This is very good news for the RF team’s workload. But it is very bad news for democracy, if the election’s still on. That’s because no Budget means no updated Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts for our economy and public finances – forecasts that should provide crucial context for the … Continued

A slowing, bickering, changing world

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Afternoon all, So, Boris Johnson has chosen his Brexiteers over unionism. The EU have chosen getting it done versus hoping remainers get their act together. The DUP have chosen a rock, having been offered a hard place. Labour want to choose a referendum, but may get a general election. The slightly odd thing of course … Continued

Tax For The Rich, Naps For The Poor

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Afternoon all, The pressure has been building for years. Frustration has been mounting. But now it’s DECISION TIME, people. Which side are you on? Not on Brexit, or Extinction Rebellion vs the cops (which was all very friendly in the camp outside RF towers). No, on the real question facing 21st Century Britain: Coleen vs Rebekah. … Continued

Efficiency vs happiness, talent vs practice – and military service vs crime?

Top of the Charts 'Insights' round-up: September 2019

The latest from Resolution Foundation Chief Executive Torsten Bell’s weekly Observer column, Insights. Read more of the latest economics and policy research in our weekly reading email, Top of the Charts (sign up here). Military service is not a magic bullet for reducing crime We’re in an era of “bring-backery” – blue passports are on the way … Continued

WeWork wobbles as Warren woos workers

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Afternoon all, Tory/Labour conferences* are done. Brexit is not. But you have to take what closure you can get. Labour had a lot of policy, but not a lot of unity, while the Tories managed unity on Brexit and not a lot of policy (a higher minimum wage was the big exception). Just like journalists and … Continued

Torsten Bell

A rare political consensus has broken out over a higher minimum wage – but achieving it is far from straightforward

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The politics of the minimum wage don’t exactly fit our lazy stereotypes. Back in the pre-crisis days of supposed consensus, debates raged about whether the policy was right or wrong. Today, when political divides are huge, everyone is falling over themselves to agree that a higher minimum wage is the way to go. The Chancellor … Continued

Political parties and elections

Healing the Nation vs Divide and Conquer

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Afternoon all, It’s not been a good week for anyone that cares about constitutional – or indeed personal – niceties. It’s both horrendous to watch and painfully inevitable when politics has become about (unachievable) total victory. Once we’re shrugging shoulders at collateral damage (to the economy or political decency) we’re in big trouble. And in … Continued

Political parties and elections

Examining the Labour Party’s economic radicalism

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Afternoon all, I’m packing my bucket and spade for some seaside fun at Labour Party conference this weekend in Brighton. Obviously, the conference will be overshadowed by a massive row about Brexit (again). But we like to do things differently at RF so we’ll be hosting a massive row civilised discussion about its economic policy … Continued

Robo-Taxes, Expensive Tweets And Equations For Art-Lovers

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Afternoon all, So Parliament’s off. The Speaker is too (rather more permanently). This is clearly a crisis. With millions of Brits addicted to the nightly Commons meltdowns, dark times are ahead. Where we once had soaps, all that’s left these days is psephology. Now the addicts out there may get some relief from prorogation cold-turkey … Continued

Torsten Bell

Is the UK recession ready?

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The good news is we’ve now managed a recession free decade since the financial crisis. The bad news is that history teaches us this is quite unusual – booms and bust haven’t been abolished. This matters – downturns have very high costs, even when they’re not of the global financial crisis earth-shattering sort. On average … Continued

Battling inequality, one tattoo and traffic jam at a time

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Afternoon all, I’m slightly lost for words after the vote-losing, whip-stripping, police-fainting, brother-resigning week we’ve had. But beneath all the madness has anyone else noticed a strange pattern emerging from British politics? In the olden days one lot wanted X (eg tax cuts) and the other lot wanted Y (eg tax rises). They had a … Continued

Flush Geordies and flustered bankers

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Afternoon all, All quiet on the Westminster front. Or at least it will go quiet in the very near future – hence the current outrage being very loud as the week comes to a close. Which is a shame because the week started so well with (part of) the country pulling off a million to … Continued

Loaded Americans, smart Russians and dying Brits

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Afternoon all, We’re back. I know this will be a big relief to you all – it’s equally good news for my bank balance. Turns out it’s not a good idea to combine the family preference for too many croissants with our national preference for devaluing the pound. Obviously the real lesson here is to … Continued

Weekend reading for the new Cabinet

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Sign up for our weekly Top of the Charts email here   Afternoon all, It’s been a brutal week in Britain – whether you’re trying to commute in near 40 degree heat, or trying to keep your job at the Cabinet table. But I’ve got zero sympathy for the whinging – you want to try spending … Continued

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