Pessimism, Politics and Economics: the real Budget story

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Public Finances and the Economy

Debates following this week’s Budget have been dominated by political arguments about whether the Chancellor’s spending splurge means that austerity had been ended or lives on (our view: austerity was significantly eased but not ended). But another debate has been conspicuously absent this week, having dominated the UK’s political economy for the past eight years: … Continued

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Never mind the end of austerity, what about the end of low pay?

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Jobs, Skills and Pay

While post-Budget debates on austerity and tax cuts rumble on, one clear living standards win on Monday was an increase in the National Living Wage (NLW). But beyond announcing the rate for next year, the government also used the Budget to set out a bold new aspiration that could have major implications: ending low pay. … Continued

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Lifting the lid on the HRA cap

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Budget 2018 may have been a bigger deal than most of us expected but it’s been underwhelming when it comes to housing, especially given the government claimed just weeks ago that ‘solving the housing crisis is the biggest domestic policy challenge of our generation’. That said, we do now have details about the lifting of … Continued

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The Budget marks a very significant easing – but not an end of austerity

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Public Finances and the Economy

Marriages require compromise. So we shouldn’t be surprised that the reluctant political marriage between Theresa May and Phillip Hammond has delivered a compromise Budget. Caught between the Prime Ministers promise to “end austerity”, the wish to see debt falling, and the reality of the parliamentary arithmetic making significant tax rises difficult the Chancellor has taken … Continued

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Apprenticeship starts increased in July – but the overall forecast isn’t so sunny

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Jobs, Skills and Pay

Although the UK enjoyed some glorious weather this month, the Met Office recently predicted cooler temperatures and gloomy skies in the immediate days ahead. Given the time of year, this isn’t all that surprising, but deep down you can’t help but be disappointed: the dullness of dreary weather can cause days to blend into each … Continued

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