Torsten Bell
Budgets & fiscal events
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Public spending
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Inequality & poverty
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Economy and public finances

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

Living standards
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Inequality & poverty
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Social mobility

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

Labour market
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Pay
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Inequality & poverty

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

Living standards
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Labour market
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Pay
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Inequality & poverty

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

Inequality & poverty
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Wealth & assets
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Cities and regions

Regional wealth inequality: a nation divided

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On Monday, families across the country will be feeling a mix of excitement, anxiety and relief as kids go back to school (with Scotland having already gone through it). Experiences that unite every corner of the UK feel rarer these days, with talk of division and left-behind places common. Differences between South Shields and South … Continued

Matthew Whittaker
Living standards
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Inequality & poverty
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Brexit & trade
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Economic growth

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

Living standards
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Budgets & fiscal events
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Inequality & poverty
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Economy and public finances

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

Living standards
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Labour market
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Inequality & poverty

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
Living standards
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Prices & consumption
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Inequality & poverty
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Welfare

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

Living standards
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Incomes
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Inequality & poverty

Vast gaps in living standards between ethnic groups persist — and recent progress could yet be undone

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We talk a lot about certain types of income inequality—the recent outcry over unequal pay at the BBC springs to mind—but the specifics of ethnic economic inequalities rarely get enough air time. Though only scratching the surface of such a complex topic, my recent Resolution Foundation briefing on the gaps in household incomes for different ethnicities sought … Continued

Torsten Bell
Living standards
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Incomes
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Inequality & poverty

Despite the economic gloom, living standards for BAME groups are finally catching up

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Good news is undervalued. Partly because it doesn’t make as good headlines and partly because there hasn’t been much of it around after a fairly grim decade since the financial crisis. So here’s some: since the turn of the millennium living standards gaps between different ethnic groups have been narrowing in Britain. Since 2002 White … Continued

Matthew Whittaker
Living standards
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Incomes
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Inequality & poverty
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Cities and regions

When it comes to living standards, geography matters

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A slowdown in economic growth and the recent return of the pay squeeze has focused attention once again on the extent to which absolute living standard improvements have stalled across UK households since the financial crisis of 2008. But the distribution of gains and losses matters too – especially in the context of a vote … Continued

Living standards
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Inequality & poverty
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Economic growth

Whose recovery is this?

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Much has been written about the success of the UK economy recently. Last year the country was (almost) the fastest growing economy in the G7 and confounded expectations that the vote to leave the European Union would cause an economic slowdown if not outright recession. And yet, in many parts of the country this tale … Continued

Torsten Bell
Living standards
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Inequality & poverty

Uneven reports on inequality

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Jeremy says it is racing away. Theresa says it is falling. They can’t both be right, and in fact they’re both wrong. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have an inequality problem British inequality is like bad music: It’s all about the 1980s The gap between the rich and poor hasn’t moved that much in the … Continued

Living standards
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Inequality & poverty

Is the Prime Minister right to say that inequality has gone down?

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In the brave new world of ‘alternative facts’, it’s natural to take politicians’ claims with more than the usual dose of salt. That’s particularly true when rivals appear to take very different positions on verifiable points of fact. With the Prime Minister claiming yesterday that “inequality has gone down under this government” and Jeremy Corbyn … Continued

Living standards
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Inequality & poverty

Back to the ‘80s: Projections for living standards and inequality in the UK

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The UK economy has, in many respects, performed well recently. Last week it was revealed that GDP grew by 2 per cent in 2016, above the OECD average, and higher than forecasters expected when the country voted to leave the European Union. Employment is at a record high and average wages, although still 4 per … Continued

Torsten Bell
Living standards
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Incomes
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Inequality & poverty

Let’s avoid a poor rerun of the 1980s

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The 1980s deserve a bad reputation. Sweatbands, leg warmers, and diverse crimes against hair –think perms and mullets, feathered or otherwise. Then we start on the self-indulgence of the music and the fact that Rick Astley was allowed an entire career. Yes we had the Smiths but even Bob Dylan had a bad decade. On … Continued

Living standards
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Productivity & industrial strategy
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Inequality & poverty
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Skills
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Cities and regions

Can a new generation of political leaders tackle Britain’s regional inequalities?

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2017 will see the UK begin its departure from the European Union. However, as the UK seeks to shed some politicians in Brussels, we will be getting some new ones at home. Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Tees, West Midlands, Bristol and Bath, and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will all go to the polls to elect mayors and … Continued

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