Universal Credit

In credit?

Assessing where Universal Credit’s long roll-out has left the benefit system and the country


With neither of the main parties wanting to scrap Universal Credit, whoever wins the election will be governing a ‘Universal Credit Britain’, as the final stage of what has been the biggest benefit reform in a generation is due to end with a system covering 7 million families by 2029.  But it is nearly 14 years … Continued

Through the roof

Recent trends in rental-price growth


In the context of the significant rental-price growth the UK has experienced over the past two years, this briefing note looks at possible causes, and what we can expect looking ahead.

Happy new tax year

Six big changes to pay, tax and benefit policy – and how they affect households across Britain


The beginning of April brings a new tax year, and a flurry of tax, benefit and pay policy changes coming into effect. Benefit levels are finally returning to their pre-pandemic levels after a difficult few years. Threshold freezes will continue to pull more people into paying tax, but the tax they pay on every extra … Continued

Housing Outlook Q1 2024


Welcome to our first Housing Outlook in what looks set to be an election year, and one where housing could well be a prominent issue. This quarter, we consider whether the UK’s housing woes are shared by other developed economies, or if the issues of housing affordability and quality we highlight so frequently are distinctly … Continued

A U-shaped legacy

Taking stock of trends in economic inactivity in 2024


In an election year, jobs and benefits are often centre stage. Alongside the UK’s stagnant wage growth, there is one big issue that will face the next government: the rises in economic inactivity and health-related benefit claims. Real pay growth, unemployment and vacancies have all returned roughly to 2019 rates. But there is one aspect … Continued

Pensioner progress

The impact of personal tax and benefit changes since 2010 on pensioner families


Tax-paying pensioners did not gain anything from the Chancellor’s Budget last week, and policies announced since 2019, including the six-year freeze to tax thresholds, will cut the incomes of pensioners by an average of £900 a year, with the largest losses felt by pensioners on the highest incomes. This has prompted accusations that the Government … Continued

Back for more?

Putting the 2024 Spring Budget in context


In this briefing note, we put the decisions in the Spring Budget 2024 in context, discussing how the economic outlook has changed, what that means for the public finances, and how the policy decisions taken at the Budget will affect living standards in both the short and the medium term.

In too deep?

The impact of the cost of living crisis on household debt


Hard economic times and rising interest rates have brought a renewed focus on household debt in recent years, with concerns that more and more families could find themselves overwhelmed by the burden of debt. So this briefing note takes a closer look at the use of consumer debt (such as credit cards, personal loans and … Continued

We’ve only just begun

Action to improve young people’s mental health, education and employment


The transition to adulthood is a tumultuous time: leaving education, entering the labour market, living independent of family and managing one’s finances all come with their stresses and strains. But this crucial part of the life course can be especially challenging for young people with mental health problems who are more likely to struggle in … Continued

The Election Budget

Spring Budget 2024 preview


In this slide pack we preview the upcoming Budget, assessing the economic and fiscal outlook ahead of what will be a key pre-election economic-policy event. We focus on the scope for cutting taxes, and the implications of different policy choices, putting the Chancellor’s upcoming decisions in a broader context. We find that, despite near-term bad … Continued

Decent exposure

An overview of how Britain’s exposure to trade has changed


In this briefing note we assess how the exposure to international trade has changed over the past two decades. First, we consider the role that declining manufacturing employment has played on how exposed workers at different pay levels have become. Second, we explore how we have become more reliant on international trade through our everyday … Continued

Precautionary tales

Tackling the problem of low saving among UK households


Families in Britain are confronted with what can be termed a ‘triple savings challenge’. This encompasses a lack of accessible ‘rainy day’ savings to cushion small cashflow shocks, inadequate precautionary saving to see people through large and unexpected income shocks, and insufficient saving to provide an adequate income in retirement. These three savings challenges are … Continued

Intergenerational Centre
Political parties and elections

Poll Position

How intergenerational voting intentions have changed since the 2019 General Election


The elections in 2017 and 2019 crystallised a trend that had been building over this century: age became the central fault line in British politics. But those were not normal elections: Brexit loomed large, an issue with distinctly age-divided views. This note investigates where we are now, picking out five big intergenerational shifts that have occurred since the last general election.

Catastrophic caps

An analysis of the impact of the two-child limit and the benefit cap


In the benefit system, entitlement and need are intertwined: the greater the need, the more benefit income a family is usually entitled to receive. But in the 2010s, two policies were introduced that delinked entitlement and need by limiting the amount of benefits some families could receive: the benefit cap in 2013, and the two-child … Continued

Local roots of trade routes

The UK’s regional services trade over time


Services trade is increasingly important for the UK Politicians are often laser-focussed on goods trade, but trade in services is increasingly important for the UK’s growth story. Globally, services trade growth is expected to continue to outpace goods trade growth – with the share of services predicted to rise from 25 per cent of trade … Continued

Narrowing the youth gap

Exploring the impact of changes to the minimum wage on the incidence of low pay among young people


In the Autumn Statement last month, the Chancellor announced big changes to the minimum wage. Alongside the announcement that the adult-rate minimum wage (the ‘National Living Wage’, or NLW) will increase by 10 per cent in April 2024, there were two important changes relating to the minimum wage rates that apply to young people. First, … Continued

Pressure on pay, prices and properties

How families were faring in October 2023


Two years into the cost of living crisis, inflation has finally turned a corner. The headline rate of CPI inflation has fallen from its October 2022 peak of 11.1 per cent to 4.6 per cent in October 2023, and the Prime Minister has been able to say that his target of halving inflation in 2023 … Continued

Labour Market Outlook Q4 2023

What’s happening to pay growth?


Over the course of 2023, the labour market has been gradually cooling on most measures. Even ignoring data from the Labour Force Survey that has recently been called into question, vacancies have been falling for 16 consecutive months and growth in payrolled employment has slowed. But nominal wage growth has remained resilient – even, since … Continued

A temporary thaw

An analysis of Local Housing Allowance uprating over time


In the 2023 Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced that the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) will be re-pegged to the 30th percentile of local rents in April 2024. This will be the first increase to the LHA in four years, good news for the 1.3 million private renter households in receipt of Universal Credit or Housing … Continued

Ending stagnation

A New Economic Strategy for Britain

The UK has great strengths, but is a decade and a half into a period of stagnation. The toxic combination of slow growth and high inequality was straining the living standards of low- and middle-income Britain well before the cost of living crisis struck. It is time to embark on a new path. This, the … Continued

No more publications found