Energy prices: Why now is the time to act to help millions of families facing fuel bill catastrophe

A benefits boost and insulation drive are needed

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The first day of April saw the largest overnight jump in energy bills in living memory, pushing up the cost of gas and electricity for 22 million families by more than 50 per cent. Despite this not having sunk in yet – households are only one bill into this new reality at most – we … Continued

Inflation will hit low and middle-income families hardest

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This year is not being kind to the reputation of Britain’s institutions. Two months in, the police are already questioning the country’s elected — and unelected — leaders. But the cost-of-living catastrophe that will dominate 2022 will turn the heat on to our economic institutions. They are unlikely to emerge unscathed. Prices rose 5.5 per … Continued

Levelling-up: The Blair-Osborne Project

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There have been many attempts in the past to reduce the gaps between richer and poorer parts of the UK. But despite progress on some measures (most notably employment and pay), geographic disparities remain substantial and stubborn, particularly when it comes to productivity. The gap in typical pay between Kensington and Chelsea and Scarborough has … Continued

The Child Trust Fund comes of age

It presents a unique opportunity to learn about the difference that asset ownership can make

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With little fanfare the UK is about to witness a mass experiment in the extension of access to capital. Other nations may have sovereign wealth funds, and some have experimented with universal basic incomes, but the UK is the first to create a citizen’s endowment for all young adults. From next week those turning eighteen … Continued

New data shows households were struggling even before coronavirus

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Today we got the best data yet on the state of Britain’s household finances going into the present crisis, and – given that the impact of this shutdown and recession will be unequally felt – it was important that we also got more information on how particular groups were faring. Neither perspective is reassuring.  There was no growth in typical incomes between 2016-17 and 2018-19  The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)’s new, detailed household … Continued

Charting the UK’s lost decade of income growth

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Unlike with employment or GDP, detailed data on disposable household incomes comes with a long lag. So today the ONS released its main household income results for 2018-19. There will be more data to come in future (including poverty numbers later this month), but what we’ve learned today is not reassuring about post-referendum living standards. … Continued

Living standards
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Incomes
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Jobs
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Labour market
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Pay
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Inequality & poverty
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Cities and regions
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Political parties and elections

Election 2019: how Britain’s North-South divide is changing

Closing the divide once and for all is a challenge all political parties say they want to embrace

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The North-South divide is a theme often used by – and against – politicians to highlight inequality in the UK, and election time is no exception. But this divide has evolved over time, and is by no means the only geographical divide in the country.   The big economic divide Productivity – or how efficiently … Continued

The child poverty crisis needs pushing up the agenda in Britain’s ‘Brexit’ election

None of the main party manifestos will end child poverty

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Both the main parties have learnt lessons from the 2017 election. The Conservatives have learnt not to scare the horses with big new policies. Their 2019 manifesto is very much a ‘safety-first’ document. Labour learnt that they have a problem with pensioners – 70-year olds are twice as likely to vote Tory as Labour – … Continued

A good year for pay?

Five things we learned from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2019

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This morning the ONS published the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) for 2019 – the most detailed data on employee pay available, telling us about high and low pay, the gender pay gap, and more besides. As a think-tank focusing on raising living standards, this is pretty crucial data for us, and for … Continued

Is rising inequality helping to swell the coffers for Fortunate Phil?

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Fortunate Phil is not what the Chancellor generally gets called. But as he prepares for tomorrow’s Spring Statement, Philip Hammond – despite facing what looks like headline bad news – has at least some reasons to be grateful for good luck on both the economic and political fronts. The Treasury is gearing up for the … Continued

To understand inequality, we need to understand its intersections too

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Inequality has been moving up the political agenda in recent years. Public concern about the issue is at record levels. Politicians across the spectrum – from Theresa May’s emphasis on the ‘burning injustice’ faced by many in modern Britain, to Jeremy Corbyn’s lamentation of the ‘grotesque inequality’ that characterises the UK and other rich countries … Continued

The £3.2bn pay penalty facing black and ethnic minority workers

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It’s that time of the year when everyone does their reviews of 2018. The political review of the year will inevitably be dominated by the thrills and spills of Brexit. But for those interested in public policy, a strong contender for the Resolution Foundation’s ‘policy that could make a big difference to people’s living standards’ … Continued

The gender pay gap is at an all-time low – but beyond the headlines, things aren’t so rosy

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‘The UK’s gender pay gap has reached a record low of 8.6 per cent for full-time employees,’ read today’s headlines. This is certainly true, on the whole. But averages inevitably mask a wealth of compositional effects which show that large gains for some unwittingly offset not-so-large gains for others, as well as some not-quite-so-rosy trends … Continued

Matthew Whittaker

Dis-United Kingdom? Inequality, growth and the Brexit divide

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Much has changed in Britain since the EU referendum, but in many ways the divide that opened up around the vote feels as cavernous today as it was on the morning after the night before. That owes much to the inevitably divisive nature of a binary in/out referendum of course, but many commentators point also … Continued

Should the Office for Budget Responsibility also forecast inequality?

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The strengths and weaknesses of economic forecasting are under scrutiny, perhaps like never before. How might GDP perform under different Brexit policies compared to a world with no Brexit? Is unemployment now likely to rise or fall? What will public borrowing in 2022 be? Whatever your politics, such modelling and forecasting is indispensable – so … Continued

Black and ethnic minority workers needs a bigger living standards reward for their astounding progress in getting degrees

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On Tuesday, the Government will publish an audit of race disparity across public service outcomes. The data, which will be publicly available, outlines race-based inequality in health, education and employment services, and within the criminal justice system. This is a very welcome development: previous Resolution Foundation research found that such disparities are very real when … Continued

Matthew Whittaker

The living standards issue that’s bigger than Brexit for lower income households

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Love it or loathe it, the long shadow of Brexit is set to dominate our political weather for some considerable time to come. With good reason of course. The long-term impact remains uncertain, but we can be sure it will be significant. And in the near-term, there’s no denying that the referendum result is at … Continued

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