The chart to top all charts

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Afternoon all, This is the week scary economic data started to join the scary health data. Daily updates on infections and deaths have reduced their shock (although not the tragedy), but we have never before heard news of almost a million people making new benefit claims in just two weeks. At five times the rate … Continued

Wanted sons and unwanted calories

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Afternoon all, We’ve come a long way between TOTC editions. Not only is the state underwriting wages for those without work to do, but it’s about to start paying out grants of up to £7,500 to the self-employed even if they’ve never been so busy. The sheer pace of claims going into Universal Credit (477,000 … Continued

Unprecedented support for employees’ wages last week has been followed up by equally significant, and even more generous, support for the self-employed. But gaps remain

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Yesterday, the Chancellor announced that last week’s pledge to underwrite 80 per cent of the wages of employees without work to do during this crisis is being matched with significant grants to the self-employed. This is an important addition to existing plans to support employees, and in many ways a more generous offer. The Self-Employed … Continued

Trusting the experts on pandemics, politics and economic research

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Afternoon all, Hope everyone’s had a relaxing week. We have not. Budgets are generally fairly dark, sleep-deprived times in RF towers anyway, but coronavirus-infected Budgets, where loads of the numbers are out of date and don’t reflect what the Chancellor has actually announced, are the work of the devil. We’re in uncharted unchartable territory. That … Continued

Confused economists, bad scientists and rubbish burglars

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Top of the Charts #96: Confused economists, bad scientists and rubbish burglars   Afternoon all,   It’s been a week of swift developments politics and virus wise. Very good news for Joe Biden, less good for the global population – especially those of Joe Biden’s more advanced years. Next week’s Budget is still happening (see … Continued

The problems with getting into schools – and closing them down

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Afternoon all, Heathrow isn’t going ahead. Coronavirus is. It turns out that bugs are better than Brits at travelling the world. Even if we had a runway the whole proto-pandemic thing means flying is so 2019. But no over-reacting please – we’ve only just lived down the embarrassment of the run on Northern Rock, we … Continued

Sad songs and tough Budgets

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Afternoon all, Hope everyone’s enjoyed the calmer week in politics. After last week’s Chancellor-related fireworks, losing a Downing Street adviser over a bit of eugenics chat is small fry. Things are so chilled across the pond that they’re focusing on films. Donald Trump doesn’t understand how Parasite can have won the top Oscar. Now he … Continued

Backing scientists, sacking ministers, and tracking millionaires

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Afternoon all, I’m hoping today is going to be a calmer day. At a minimum the goal is to get through writing TOTCs without resigning. There’s no special advisers to worry about but the trustees do make us share mugs and spreadsheets in RF towers, which is quite frankly more than any self-respecting policy type … Continued

Fixing capitalism, politics and the patriarchy

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Afternoon all, This week TOTCs comes to you from a Welsh mountainside of the vertically upwards variety. Now, this isn’t the perfect place for perusing economics reads, but you’re either committed to ‘levelling up’ or you’re not. These giddy Welsh heights also allow for some perspective on this week’s Brexit “it’s done but not over” speeches. … Continued

Trust, parental leave, wealth tax and more

Top of the Charts 'Insights' round-up: January 2020

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). Why we’ll never get rich by putting cash away for a rainy day Norway has a wealth tax. Now, I’m in favour … Continued

The RF guide to good health and life satisfaction

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Afternoon all, Immeasurably significant but incredibly calm is, it turns out, what Brexit day feels like. The calm bit isn’t what many would have expected a few months back amid the screaming. Which makes me reflect that while politics made a total dog’s dinner of the last three years, in another way democratic politics has … Continued

Monetary marathons and miracle workers

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Afternoon all, Right, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is. You’ve all been scoffing about economic forecasters getting it wrong (as literally every single one has been for the past decade). Well, this is your moment to show us you could do better. The government is recruiting for a new forecasting supremo to take … Continued

The Governor’s off, Sussex is out, but Welsh is sticking around

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Afternoon all, 2020 is failing badly on the calming down stakes. Yes the Iran crisis has de-escalated (slightly), but the Royal Family has not. The Sussex’s want out, Barry Gardiner wants in. Neither’s going to happen. Ultimately this is about trust. We were promised less news and we have been betrayed. But don’t worry – … Continued

The Economic History Of The 2010s

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Afternoon all, Happy new decade. It’s been a bit of a shock returning to work today. The end of slow daytime drinking is tough, but especially when combined with the realisation that our personal (emails), national (rubbish growth) and international (Trump) traumas have crept across the space time continuum into the 2020s. Of course it’s … Continued

Why having more babies means less crime, and other stories

Top of the Charts 'Insights' round-up: December 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). Keep us busy with babies and we’ve no time for crime Unless you’re in a mafia clan, we all want to … Continued

What’s in store for jobs and pay in 2020

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2019 – a good year for jobs and pay, defying the growth slowdown 2019 was a good year for the UK’s labour market, with the country set to enter the new decade with not only record employment but, after a decade long squeeze, record pay. The six-year jobs boom came to an end, but record … Continued

Top dogs and cash kings

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Afternoon all,   It’s been a busy week. New(ish) government, new (WEIRD) Cats film, and new top dog at the Bank of England. It’s all been going on. What’s clear is that there’s a lot of adjusting to be done. It’s ages since a government had a real majority. Politicians and journalists are slowly waking … Continued

Election dissection

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Afternoon all, We’re not doing reads this week, we’re doing reflections. There is after all a lot to reflect on from last night – on what happened and where it leaves our politics and our country. I hope it’s of some use to you whether you’re spending your weekend in party mood, or at a … Continued

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

Fairy tales and city slickers

Top of the Charts 'Insights' round-up: November 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). Even though it makes us unhappy, city life has never been more popular Cities make us richer, but not happier. To … 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

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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

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