Tuesday 4 July 2023

Shared prosperity

What would it take to see a return to rising living standards for all?

Britain is stagnating. Productivity growth is flatlining, workers today are earning the same wages as their predecessors in 2007, and living standards growth had slowed to a crawl even before today’s cost of living crisis. So we need a clear strategy for returning to rising, and widely shared, prosperity. Against that backdrop, it is important to understand what a return to growth will, and will not deliver. Some doubt that a return to growth is possible, while others question if it is even desirable – arguing that productivity growth doesn’t raise the wages of ordinary workers. Beyond growth, the roles of policies to redistribute (including through the benefits system) or predistribute (with a more equal sharing of rewards from the labour market) are hotly debated.

Does productivity growth boost ordinary workers’ pay packets? Would a return to rising wages help reduce inequality or drive it higher? Should policy makers focus on raising employment rates and the minimum wage, or on changes to the benefit system, to boost the living standards of those on low incomes? And fundamentally is there a plausible route to Britain seeing living standards rise and inequality fall?

The Resolution Foundation is hosting an in-person and interactive webinar – as part of The Economy 2030 Inquiry, funded by the Nuffield Foundation – to debate and answer these questions. Following a presentation of the key report highlights from a new report, we will hear from leading experts on how to ensure that economic growth delivers improved living standards for all.

The event will be open for people to physically attend, alongside being broadcast via YouTube and the Resolution Foundation website. Viewers will be able to submit questions to the panel before and during the event via Slido.