Making pay work: can the living wage provide a comprehensive route to improving living standards?

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Jobs, Skills and Pay

Earlier this month, the living wage campaign celebrated its ten year anniversary with a gathering of two and half thousand supporters in central London. It is an important time for the movement, as it seeks to significantly extend the scope of the living wage by targeting major low-wage employers. Achieving this ambition is likely to raise new … Continued

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Think the cuts are biting? The pain has hardly begun

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Public Finances and the Economy

Buoyed by a run of bank holidays and balmy weather, optimistic families may think that, having absorbed the changes announced in April’s Budget, the worst is behind them. Sadly, that is a false hope. Plenty more pain is in the pipeline. To see why, just look at what is coming in terms of cuts, wages, … Continued

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Flat, and falling, Prospect

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Jobs, Skills and Pay

How much did your parents earn when they were your age? Unless you buck the trend, the answer is less than you earn. But now, for the first time in decades, it’s not clear if the same will apply to your children. From the US to Germany, living standards for typical households had stopped rising … Continued

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The week when the numbers become reality

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Public Finances and the Economy

With the Budget behind us and the new financial year starting on Wednesday, it is a timely moment to take stock of the prospects of those living on low-to-middle incomes. To do that we need to consider the combined impact of stagnant wages, rising prices, reduced tax-credits and benefits from the June 2010 Budget – … Continued

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Digging beneath the figures on household disposable income

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Incomes and Inequality

Figures released earlier this week by the Office for National Statistics showed that total real disposable incomes have fallen in the UK for the first time in thirty years. But behind those headline figures, if we instead look at disposable income per head, there’s an interesting story about the performance of different regions across the country. In … Continued

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