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

Skills
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Apprenticeships
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Political parties and elections

Apprenticeships and adult education: how do the major parties compare?

Latest Department for Education figures show the problems that need addressing

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While big rows over Brexit and the size of state we want have tended to dominate the news cycle over recent weeks, the 2019 general election campaign hasn’t been entirely devoid of skills policy. In fact, the Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative Party manifestos all include bold – albeit thinly detailed – proposals on apprenticeships … Continued

James Smith

Political leaders must set out credible plans to tackle the next downturn

The time for action on macroeconomic policy is now

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Okay, fair enough, there’s a lot going on right now. With a fraught election campaign in full flow, and our future relationship with the EU still up in the air, you can be forgiven for taking your eye off preparations for the next recession. But boom and bust hasn’t gone away. So while the sun … Continued

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

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

Demographics
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Intergenerational Centre
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Political parties and elections

My Generation, Baby: The Politics of Age in Brexit Britain

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Generational politics is nothing new, but the extent of the profound generational cleavage that has emerged in British electoral politics is novel. The Brexit vote and the 2017 general election put generational politics centre‐stage, eclipsing in some ways the traditionally dominant role of class. Our two main parties now rely on age‐based coalitions of support—on … Continued

Public spending
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Tax
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Intergenerational Centre
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Political parties and elections

Britain is set to replace the era of austerity with a new era of tax rises

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The main message that has united both main party conferences over the last fortnight is that the era of austerity is over. For Labour that means more spending on new things – from universal childcare to a mass programme of nationalisation. And for many Conservatives it means a return to what they love doing best … Continued

Demographics
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Intergenerational Centre
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Political parties and elections

Demography is the new class war

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The real question about this year’s Labour Party conference is what on earth everyone will talk about for four days. The supposed Brexit barney will be a damp squib and leadership rows have disappeared. So here’s a suggestion to fill the awkward silences: it’s time Labour talked about the arrival of generational divides in our … Continued

Living standards
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Political parties and elections

For Labour, it’s all about what you say

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Labour members heading to Brighton this weekend will be a historical anomaly. Because they will be perky. That isn’t the word you’d normally associate with Labour party members on the eve of party conference for the last decade. Depressed, occasionally. Determined, often. But perky? No. And fair enough. Just 15 weeks ago they learnt that … Continued

Matthew Whittaker
Living standards
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Brexit & trade
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Political parties and elections

How important was Brexit in the so-called ‘Brexit election’?

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Anyone who channel-hopped their way through Thursday night’s election coverage will have noticed two things. First, pundits are very good at recycling and refining their reactions as they work their way around the various studios. And second, different channels established different, but seemingly equally plausible, narratives about just what on earth was happening. But one … Continued

Living standards
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Intergenerational Centre
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Political parties and elections

The millennials and politics: are they getting into the swing of it?

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There’s a lot to take away from the most unexpected of election nights. Election campaigns and manifestos do matter after all. Conservative and Labour MPs are much better than pandas (at population growth in Scotland). Labour can win non-London seats south of the Watford gap. And voters don’t seem to appreciate leaders calling for yet … Continued

Living standards
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Intergenerational Centre
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Political parties and elections

Votey McVoteface: what’s driving the generational turnout gap, and why it matters

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We are a couple of weeks away from a General Election. Candidates will be shaking hands with as many potential voters as they can, aiming to win their support. But most will prioritise the bingo halls over the student unions because, as is well known, older people are much more likely to make it to … Continued

Living standards
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Intergenerational Centre
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Political parties and elections

Can political parties capture the hearts and minds of young and old alike on polling day?

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All elections have a theme. The last two were fought on living standards and the deficit. This one is about Brexit first and foremost. But there are other issues bubbling under the surface, with fairness between generations featuring prominently in both main parties’ approaches. Theresa May has identified ‘repairing the intergenerational contract that underpins society’ … Continued

Labour market
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Political parties and elections

There’s more on the table at this election than Brexit and security – it’s time we had a proper debate

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This is clearly a very different sort of general election campaign. Conducted in advance of a Brexit process that will profoundly reshape Britain, the focus is on the nature of the deal and the leadership qualities of those vying to negotiate it. The tragic and horrific events in Manchester last week have understandably shifted the … Continued

Demographics
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Welfare
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Intergenerational Centre
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Political parties and elections

The welfare gap between young and old is set to widen, whoever wins the next election

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  We love a good welfare row in elections. Back in 2015, Labour was branded the ‘welfare party’ while the Conservatives were reluctant to divulge the details of the £12 billion cuts package they planned to announced shortly after the election. A cynic might wonder if they were planning to ditch that pledge in the … Continued

Public spending
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Economy and public finances
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Political parties and elections

How do the main parties’ fiscal policies compare?

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The parties’ manifestos cover a lot of ground. But what would their fiscal policies mean for the country? As we set out in an earlier report, boring-sounding rules about the deficit matter hugely for the country’s public debt trajectory, the parties’ delivery of services and tax and benefit policies, and for accommodating coming demographic challenges. … Continued

Social care
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Welfare
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Political parties and elections

The Prime Minister changes direction on social care. But will the cap fit?

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Big election announcements on social care have a habit of coming back to bite you. As we pointed out in our reaction to the Conservative manifesto last week, proposals floated at the end of the last Labour government’s term for an estate tax were proclaimed a ‘death tax’ by the opposition. That tag has hamstrung … Continued

Housing
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Political parties and elections

Home ownership for young families has halved in West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Outer London since the 1990s

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The phrase ‘housing crisis’ is rarely off politicians’ lips these days as they increasingly recognise that the cost of a home – to buy and to rent – plays a key role in determining living standards. And quite right too as new Resolution Foundation analysis shows that the crisis is both acute and widely felt. … Continued

Housing
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Tax
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Intergenerational Centre
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Political parties and elections

Death taxes, the Conservative manifesto, and the changing politics of intergenerational fairness

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Today we got sight of the Conservative Party’s Theresa May’s manifesto. Just two short years since the last Tory manifesto was presented to the British public, this 2017 offering is a very different beast. The personality shift is all too obvious as Mayism well and truly buries the Cameron/Osborne era of combining rhetorical focus on … Continued

Economy and public finances
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Political parties and elections

Labour’s manifesto: let’s focus on the big choices not the small change

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Labour’s manifesto is a big deal, in the simple sense that it has a lot of stuff in it. Nationalising this, nationalising that. Scrapping tuition fees. Borrowing billions for investment. Higher taxes, from corporation tax to financial transactions and on those earning over £80,000. More spending on health, social care, schools, and childcare. Oh, and … Continued

Tax
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Political parties and elections

Let’s talk about tax

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Something unusual is happening in this general election campaign. Everyone is talking about raising taxes. Last Sunday Theresa May told Britain she wouldn’t be repeating David Cameron’s mistake of ruling out ever raising any of National Insurance, income tax or VAT. Before that Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, had hinted that people earning over £70-£80,000 … Continued

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