Is Britain working?

The labour market context to the general election

UpcomingTuesday 25 June 2024

Register to attend in person or to receive an access link for online viewers. Since 2010, Britain’s labour market has gone through a period of boom and bust – with record jobs growth in the last decade followed by a struggle to return to pre-pandemic employment rates in the 2020s. And while the country has … Continued

General Election 2024
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Universal Credit
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Welfare

The cost of poor health

What does rising health-related benefit spending mean for the UK and its next government?

Thursday 20 June 2024

Health-related benefit spending is rising – particularly among children and younger adults – and this increase is forecast to accelerate in the years ahead. With record numbers of people claiming disability benefits, incapacity benefits or both, there are serious questions to answer about what lies behind this trend and its impact on the health of … Continued

The state of welfare

How has Britain’s safety net changed since 2010 and what comes next?

Thursday 13 June 2024

Britain’s welfare system has undergone a major overhaul over the past decade, with major reforms as well as major cuts. In more recent years it’s faced unprecedented pressures, from the Covid-19 pandemic to the cost-of-living crisis. The social security system is at the heart of many general election debates, and this one looks set to … Continued

Ending stagnation

How to boost prosperity across Scotland

Thursday 6 June 2024

This event was in Glasgow. A toxic combination of 15 years of low growth, and four decades of high inequality, has left Britain poorer and falling behind its peers. Productivity growth is weak and public investment is low, while wages today are no higher than they were before the financial crisis. Britain needs a new … Continued

State crafting

Changes and challenges for managing the public finances

Wednesday 5 June 2024

Tax and spend are at the heart of every general election – understandably as they represent the most significant choices made by most governments. The size and shape of the state has changed substantially since 2010. Despite spending cuts and tax rises, public debt levels are up. Whoever wins the next election will have to … Continued

Inflation scarring

How has the cost-of-living crisis changed Britain?

Wednesday 22 May 2024

Economies around the world exited the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021, and jumped straight into the biggest inflation surge for four decades, with a cost-of-living crisis accelerated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But with inflation finally back close to its target of two per cent, to be confirmed by the ONS on Wednesday 22nd May, now … Continued

Setting a new path to greater, shared prosperity

How cities in the North East can help to end economic stagnation

Tuesday 21 May 2024

This event was in Newcastle. A toxic combination of 15 years of low growth, and four decades of high inequality, has left Britain poorer and falling behind its peers. Productivity growth is weak and public investment is low, while wages today are no higher than they were before the financial crisis. Britain needs a new … Continued

Building a better Britain

How cities like Bradford can help to end economic stagnation

Thursday 16 May 2024

This event was in Bradford. A toxic combination of 15 years of low growth, and four decades of high inequality, has left Britain poorer and falling behind its peers. Productivity growth is weak and public investment is low, while wages today are no higher than they were before the financial crisis. Britain needs a new … Continued

Policy making beyond Westminster

Economic lessons from 25 years of national devolution

Monday 29 April 2024

1999 saw the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Senedd all meet in their full form for the first time. This marked the most significant act of devolution of the 20th Century, and it has changed the United Kingdom significantly over the past quarter of a century. The process of devolution has continued … Continued

Overcoming stagnation

A new strategy for economic prosperity in Britain?

Thursday 25 April 2024

This event was in Bath. Economic growth in the UK has been sluggish ever since the global financial crisis. More recent large-scale disruptions caused by Brexit and Covid-19 have created additional challenges to growth and the vital public services, institutions, and fiscal measures that underpin it. Productivity and public investment remain low. Meanwhile, stalling wage … Continued

Precarious profits?

Why firms use insecure contracts, and what would change their minds

Thursday 25 April 2024

Over one-in-ten workers across Britain is employed on some form of precarious contract. The problems with such working arrangements for some workers are well known: they have limited control over their working patterns and insecure incomes too. But why firms use, or even come to rely on them, is rarely discussed and poorly understand. We … Continued

A new Economic Strategy for Britain

How can Oxford help drive equitable economic growth?

Tuesday 23 April 2024

This event was in Oxford. Economic growth in the UK has been sluggish ever since the global financial crisis. More recent large-scale disruptions caused by Brexit and Covid-19 have created additional challenges to growth and the vital public services, institutions, and fiscal measures that underpin it. Productivity and public investment remain low. Meanwhile, stalling wage … Continued

Powering Britain

Can we decarbonise electricity without disadvantaging poorer families?

Monday 22 April 2024

The UK’s transition towards a net zero economy requires a complete overhaul of our power sector. We don’t just need electricity generation that has been decarbonised, but a huge amount more of it as we switch away from heating our homes with gas and powering our cars with petrol. This will require a huge step … Continued

Universal Credit
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Living standards
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Welfare

In credit?

Assessing where Universal Credit’s long rollout has left the benefit system, and Britain

Monday 15 April 2024

Universal Credit, announced back in 2010 and introduced in 2013, will be fully rolled out by whoever wins the next election. The benefit has been on a rollercoaster over those years – with the IT underpinning it causing major teething problems, and later success in processing unprecedented numbers of claims during the pandemic. In the … Continued

Building pressure?

Rising rents, and what to expect in the future

Monday 8 April 2024

The combination of high house prices and stagnating incomes over recent decades, coupled with the decline of social housing, mean that millions more of us are private renters. And they are renting for longer too. Private rents have risen swiftly in the wake of the pandemic. What happens next matters hugely for millions of families, … Continued

Setting a high bar

Celebrating 25 years of the minimum wage, and plotting its next path

Wednesday 27 March 2024

The introduction of the minimum wage back in April 1999 was a controversial policy choice, with businesses warning that it would lead to widespread job losses. But 25 years on, it has proved to be a great policy success that has been built on by several governments. Raising the legal wage floor has significantly reduced … Continued

Living standards
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Demographics

Living life to the full

How can we make our longer lives healthier, happier and more productive?

Thursday 21 March 2024

Book launch for The Longevity Imperative by Professor Andrew J Scott Britain, along with many other countries, is getting older and living longer. This demographic shift has huge health, economic and societal impacts, but too often the debate is limited to the fiscal costs of an ageing society, and pressures on the NHS. Instead we … Continued

Boosting prosperity across Britain

How cities like Bristol can help to end economic stagnation

Thursday 7 March 2024

This event was in Bristol. A toxic combination of 15 years of low growth, and four decades of high inequality, has left Britain poorer and falling behind its peers. Wages today are no higher than they were before the financial crisis, and England’s biggest cities beyond London all have productivity levels below the national average. … Continued

Game changer?

Assessing the Budget’s economic, and electoral, impact

Thursday 7 March 2024

The upcoming Spring Budget may be the last big fiscal event before the General Election, one of few chances for the government to set the terms of the economic debate. And with the government trailing heavily in the polls, and the economy entering a mild recession at the end of last year, the pressure is … Continued

Ending stagnation

The role of cities like Nottingham in boosting economic prosperity across Britain

Thursday 29 February 2024

This event was in Nottingham. A toxic combination of 15 years of low growth, and four decades of high inequality, has left Britain poorer and falling behind its peers. Productivity growth is weak and public investment is low, while wages today are no higher than they were before the financial crisis. Britain needs a new … Continued

Working in the think tank sector

Webinar for those interested in working in the sector

Wednesday 28 February 2024

Think tanks are research organisations that develop ideas and suggestions for action on a whole range of subjects affecting society. Using research, analysis and commentary, we aim to inform and influence politicians, policy makers and the public. Given the economic, social and political issues facing the UK, ensuring the world of research and policy-making is … Continued

Healthy starts

How mental ill-health shapes the education and economic prospects of young people

Monday 26 February 2024

The rising prevalence of mental health problems among young people over recent decades is becoming increasingly concerning. While evidently distressing for the young people and their families, periods of poor mental health can also have significant detrimental impacts on their education and job prospects. Increasing support provided in schools and universities has gone some way … Continued

Tax cuts today, spending cuts tomorrow?

How the Budget might shape the General Election and beyond

Wednesday 21 February 2024

An election is coming, and therefore so are tax cuts in the Budget on 6th March. But the size of those tax cuts are dependent on the amount of fiscal room for manoeuvre the Chancellor has. And their shape will reflect where his political and economic priorities lie. Plus tax cuts come in a context … Continued

Trading standards

How exposure to global trade shapes our living standards

Monday 19 February 2024

Britain is an open economy, and has become more open over recent decades – despite the impact of Brexit and ‘slowbalisation’. But the quantity and type of goods and services we trade isn’t the only thing that has shifted. So has what we consume and where we work. All of these shifts affect our exposure … Continued

Saving for today. And tomorrow.

How to boost households financial resilience now, and living standards in retirement

Monday 12 February 2024

British households aren’t saving enough. Pensions auto-enrolment has got far more of us saving for retirement, but too many of us are not on track for a comfortable old age. More immediately, too few of us have access to rainy-day pots to help us through an unexpected shock. Traditional approaches to encourage people to build … Continued

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