What does new ONS data tell us about incomes and inequality?

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Incomes and Inequality

Today we got the first solid data about household incomes in 2017-18. Unfortunately, the figures today confirm fears that 2017-18 was not a great year for living standards progress. (Though note that the bigger sister to this release, which will give us even better data, especially on poverty, will be out at the end of … Continued

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How wealth taxes can raise billions more without scaring any horses

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Tax and Welfare

Raising taxes is never easy. Raising taxes with the government’s slim parliamentary majority is harder still. Raising taxes on wealth in those circumstances, given our diverging senses of fairness is…  not a walk in the park. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need doing, and the good news is that significant progress can be made … Continued

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Boosting benefit take-up is critical to the success of Universal Credit, but we might not be able to measure whether it’s working

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Tax and Welfare

Benefit take-up rates matter. A lot. If households aren’t actually receiving the benefits that government policy entitles them to, their incomes will be lower and the social safety net will not work as intended. The government’s own estimates of benefits take-up suggest that billions of pounds worth of benefits probably go unclaimed each year. Take-up … Continued

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The Chancellor may have one arm tied behind his back, but there are still tax levers he can pull

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Public Finances and the Economy, Tax and Welfare

How can a government with a tenuous majority, an intra-party feud and Brexit uncertainty find the money to ‘end austerity’ on top of more than £20 billion a year it has promised for the NHS? The safe bet is that it won’t find anywhere near all of it in the Budget. This can – like … Continued

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