Flat pay, little wealth and a shrinking safety net. Whatever happened to the millennials?

What does the Intergenerational Audit say about UK Millennials


Recently, there’s been good news for millennials from across the pond where the latest data suggests their living standards are catching up with (and on some measures surpassing) previous generations. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for British millennials. It’s now been five years since the Resolution Foundation’s Intergenerational Commission first laid out the state … Continued

Good work across the UK’s nations, regions and industries

The 11th Annual NERI Dónal Nevin Lecture


The 11th Annual NERI Dónal Nevin Lecture in association with the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast took place on Monday 16 October, 2023 from 11am – 1pm.  The venue was the Canada Room (and Council Chamber), Lanyon Building, Queen’s University Belfast. Torsten Bell, Chief Executive of the Resolution … Continued

What does it take to reduce poverty?

Lessons from the 21st Century so far


Torsten Bell, Chief Executive of Resolution Foundation, delivered the 2023 Annual Challenge Poverty Week Lecture. The lecture is hosted by The Poverty Alliance, Scotland’s network of organisations and individuals working together to end poverty, and Scottish Poverty Inequality Reduction Unit (SPIRU). Catch up on the presentation below for an insight into the state of British living standards, … Continued

Growing inequality across Britain has left millions of families exposed to the cost-of-living crisis


Today, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published their data on household incomes and inequality for 2021-22; this is the first source of official data on household incomes for that year. 2021-22 was an eventful year. It began with the UK emerging out of major restrictions on everyday life, but by October 2021, all Covid-19 … Continued

Liz Truss’s energy plan will disproportionately benefit the wealthiest households

By 2024, support for the wealthiest tenth of households will far exceed the level of support for those living in poverty


Britain’s looming living standards catastrophe was the big question hanging – unanswered – over the Conservative Party leadership race this summer, with both candidates refusing to be drawn on how exactly they’d tackle soaring energy bills. But Liz Truss provided an emphatic answer on just her second full day in office by announcing a new Energy … Continued

Politicians need to talk about how we can lower bills by using less energy as a winter crisis looms

France and the Netherlands have produced guidance to cut domestic energy use under respective ‘energy sobriety’ and ‘dial it down’ programmes


The size of our energy bills is due to two things – how much energy costs, and how much of it we use. The first of these, for good reason, is front-page news at the moment. Wholesale gas prices are reaching new highs on an almost daily basis, pushing cost of heating and lighting our … Continued

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


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

The cost of living crisis is going to hurt

To tackle it, we will also need to address the stagnation which has bedevilled the UK economy for years


Britain is at last stepping out of the pandemic that has dominated the last two years – only to step straight into a huge cost of living crisis that will be the defining economic feature of what remains of this parliament. The lives of those at risk from the unfolding nightmare in Ukraine are our … Continued

Inflation will hit low and middle-income families hardest


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


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

Spiralling energy prices will turn the UK’s cost-of-living crisis into a catastrophe

A £300 one-off payment to millions of low-income households is the minimum needed to mitigate rising bill


A cost of living catastrophe is what British families are facing in early 2022. The government has been understandably focused on Omicron but has woken up to this crisis, and is now discussing policy action to address it. But there is no magic bullet. What’s worse, this comes on the back of a decade of … Continued

Pre-pandemic Britain experienced a mini living standards boom – alongside rising child poverty

New data show stronger growth in household incomes leading up to the Covid-19 crisis, but we need to look over a longer period for a more accurate impression


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) today published statistics on household incomes and poverty covering  2019-20. Because producing these estimates is a time-consuming process – both for the households who are surveyed and the statisticians processing the data into interesting statistics – the results are already a year out of date, and tell us … Continued

The Chancellor has prevented a grim winter of redundancies – but has failed to fix the faults with his jobs support package


On Thursday, Rishi Sunak announced that the Job Retention Scheme – where employees can be put on furlough and still get 80 per cent of their wages covered by the government – will continue to the end of March. Self-employed workers can get another three-month grant of 80 per cent of their pre-crisis profits. There … Continued

The current consumption crisis will be important for the future jobs market recovery


Britain’s jobs crisis is concentrated in low-paying sectors like hospitality, retail, arts and leisure that have been hardest hit by lockdown and ongoing social distancing measures. In 2019, 32 per cent of 18-29-year-old employees worked in these sectors. But those who tend to spend the greatest proportion of their disposable income on these more pleasurable … Continued

The Child Trust Fund comes of age

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


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


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

Family spending before the coronavirus crisis helps us to understand its potential impact


Last week the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published its annual rundown of how UK households spent their money. These statistics provide the most detailed and direct insight into current living standards, and with a coronavirus-driven economic crisis in the making, they also give us a guide as to how we might expect things to … Continued

Key take-aways from the Chancellor’s package of measures to support workers in the coronavirus crisis


The Chancellor’s announcements on Friday 20 March were unprecedented in their scale and reach, and absolutely vital for supporting firms and family incomes in the face of the current crisis. Here are five key take-aways on how these changes will affect families, and three next steps for the Government to consider.   1. At a … Continued

Charting the UK’s lost decade of income growth


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
Labour market
Inequality & poverty
Cities and regions
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


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


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

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