Making school cool and the great garden divide

Top of the Charts 'Insights' round-up: May 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). Mortgage holidays are a breeze, but try taking a rent break All recessions are bad, but in different ways. Different industries … Continued

Netflix subscriptions and union cards in lockdown Britain

Top of the Charts

Afternoon all, I see we’ve spent the week discussing optimal eye testing strategies, and introducing chunks of the country to the beauty spots of the North East. Good news for the tourism industry of County Durham in the long run, but a catastrophe for getting a grip in the midst of this crisis. Well done … Continued

Fixing Dodgy Charts, Dodgy Interviews and Dodgy Zooming

Top of the Charts

Afternoon all, We’re heading into that phase of an economic crisis where the stats start to confirm the pain households have been facing. Tuesday’s jobs stats demonstrated that fast-rising unemployment is hitting family finances – with 450,000 fewer employees in April and vacancies down 50 per cent – and today’s public finances update showed that April saw a new … Continued

Why blaggers do it better

Top of the Charts

Afternoon all, I hope you’re adjusting to the brave new world of opening things up rather than shutting them down. It’s definitely taking time to adjust to – practically, but emotionally too. I’ve not ventured to the garden centre yet, but just to flag that I’ll be really angry if you lot have ransacked the … Continued

Examining the past and policy prep for the future

Top of the Charts

Morning all, Today the nation’s meant to be celebrating – happy VE day to you all. Here’s the totally clear summary of how you’re expected to celebrate. Ahead of a sunny three-day weekend the government says sunbathing is back on… but only after the weekend (and the sun) have gone. Hurrah at lockdown being lifted. But be “cautious” … Continued

Measuring merit fairly and proper pay for carers

Top of the Charts 'Insights' round-up: April 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). In the coronavirus jobs wipeout, the young and low earners suffer most This recession stands out for its scale and speed, … Continued

Dark histories and happy hipsters

Top of the Charts

Afternoon all, Happy international workers day to you – although obviously it’s not a very happy one with this quarter probably seeing more workers not working than at any time in our history. There’s a reason food bank use is up 80 per cent, despite unprecedented government support for firms and families. The job of … Continued

Happy lockdowns and what not to watch on TV

Top of the Charts

Afternoon all, Hope you’re all feeling suitably relieved now that the Donald has cracked this virus thing. Didn’t see the injecting disinfectant suggestion coming, but at least we now know why he’s that colour. Much more reassuring news came from the retail sales stats today (not from the unsurprising record headline fall obviously). A recent run of zoom meetings … Continued

How not to be a know-it-all

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Afternoon all,   Anyone else feeling slightly inadequate in the face of this Captain Tom Moore guy? He’s managed to raise £18m for the NHS despite being old enough to have been born just as the last global pandemic was winding down in the early 1920s. And I’m pretty sure he’s done more exercise than … Continued

Exiting the economic shock

Top of the Charts

Morning all, It’s been another week of massive news bringing with it important realisations – the Queen reminding us all she’s a legend, our worries about our Prime Minister reiterating that this virus is NOT the flu, and the Labour Party realising that being a serious opposition during a national crisis might be the way … Continued

The chart to top all charts

Top of the Charts

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

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

Top of the Charts

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

Top of the Charts

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

Top of the Charts

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

Top of the Charts

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

Top of the Charts

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

Top of the Charts

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

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