A welcome boost for ‘just about managing’ families in Scotland

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Yesterday started with a bleak assessment by the Child Poverty Action Group of the impact of ongoing welfare cuts – specifically how the two-child limit on support, which began to be implemented in 2017, is set to push 300,000 children into poverty. But there was better news for Scottish parents later in the day, as … Continued

Two and a half reasons to be cheerful about our strong and stable labour market

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Today’s labour market statistics were, to use a technical term, boring. In a world of high political and economic drama, our labour market has served up headline measures of real pay growth and employment which basically haven’t changed for four months in a row. We shouldn’t bemoan unchanging numbers. Like air travel and digging tunnels, … Continued

Young people are no longer footloose and fancy free – and rent rises are to blame

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Millennials, eh? They never stand still. Always on the move, with their ‘portfolio careers’, side hustles in the gig economy, and no loyalty to the companies they work for. With an attitude like that, it’s no wonder they struggle to find decent work and pay. There’s only one problem with this common trope though. It’s … Continued

Union membership is rising again – but will it last?

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In 2018 the Trades Union Congress (TUC) celebrated its 150th birthday. Yesterday the government delivered a somewhat belated birthday present to the union movement in the form of new statistics showing that membership levels have risen significantly for the first time in almost two decades. Happy birthday TUC! In this short blog post, we provide … Continued

Wrong time, wrong place – leaving education in the middle of a downturn

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Modern economies are supposed to deliver improving living standards – incrementally year-on-year, with big gains decade-on-decade. That is why it is so shocking that a 30-year-old today earns no more than a 30-year-old a decade ago, according to previous research by the Resolution Foundation’s Intergenerational Commission. This is an earnings freeze on a scale unprecedented … Continued

Coming of age during a downturn can cause scarring – and it takes up to a decade to heal

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Recessions are bad for people’s standard of living. And they’re particularly bad for young people. That’s the painful lesson we learnt after the 1980s recession where, for most of that decade, at least one in seven people under 30 were unemployed. We know a lot about the unemployment scarring of the 1980s – from the … Continued

To build, or not to build: that is the question

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They say a week is a long time in politics (at the moment a day can feel like a long time). The same isn’t often true about economics. Arguably the most important forces in economics are long-running; demographics, big infrastructure projects, technological change. Things that don’t happen overnight. Therefore this blog – the latest in … Continued

Social renting: a working hypothesis

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Social housing has many virtues: it provides families with a secure home at a reasonable rent, and the state with a smaller benefit bill and an asset to leverage. So what’s not to like? Other than the upfront cost, perhaps the most enduring objection we hear to the tenure is that it may have a … Continued

More ambition, less risk – building on the success of auto-enrolment

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We often find it harder to celebrate policy successes than decry policy failures. So you might have missed a policy success which we are marking this week. We are about to have completed the successful initial rolling-out of automatic enrolment into occupational pension saving. Millions of employees will enjoy higher living standards in retirement as … Continued

CB40: Happy 40th birthday to child benefit! But will it last another twenty?

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Yesterday, the minimum wage celebrated its 20th birthday. Today, child benefit is having a 40th birthday bash. But, as this analysis shows, it’s become a somewhat modest affair, with (record) low generosity, fewer people invited than in earlier years, and particularly complicated arrangements. So today is a good time to step back and take stock … 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

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