Sorting it out

The Chancellor moves to fix the Job Support Scheme

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The Chancellor has sharply, and rightly, changed course to make Job Support Scheme (JSS) a functioning short-time work scheme, addressing its central flaw. Slashing the share of wages for hours not worked that employers must pay from 33 to just 5 per cent will make a big different to the cost of using the scheme. … Continued

Back to the furlough

U-turn to retain furlough scheme in closed sectors paves way for fresh lockdowns

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The short-lived attempt to set economic policy as if we were leaving the pandemic behind us is over, with the Government announcing that it will pay two-thirds of wages of employees in firms forced to close because of national or local restrictions. This will provide much needed support, saving many jobs in the hospitality and … Continued

The Winter (Economy Plan) is coming

Chancellor ramps economic support back up, but avoidable design flaws will limit its success in stemming the Autumn rise in unemployment

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Economic policy yesterday caught back up with the ramping back up of social distancing restrictions by the Prime Minister earlier in the week. The Chancellor rightly announced new measures rather than sticking to plans to phase out help for workers and firms.   His most significant policy was the Job Support Scheme (JSS), an extended, … Continued

Final furlough?

Six months on from the start of the Job Retention Scheme

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At its peak in early May the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) was supporting 8.9 million jobs. As the economy has opened up in recent months take-up of the scheme has been falling, to 4.8 million by 31 July. Of these, 3.5 million (over 10 per cent of private sector employees) were still furloughed in … Continued

The Government is not paying nine million people’s wages

The number of people currently furloughed is less than half this amount

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From today, employers will start contributing towards the wage costs of furloughed employees. This significant first step in the phasing-out of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) carries real risks of increased redundancies – particularly for those in the hardest-hit sectors – and so attention should also focus on the important question of just how … Continued

Getting Britain working (safely) again

The next phase of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

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The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) has been a major public policy success. The unprecedented step of paying 80 per cent of the wages for 6.3 million jobs has made it possible to ask people to stay at home to save lives. This paper explores how the JRS should evolve as restrictions on activity are … Continued

Launching an economic lifeboat

The impact of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

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Summary Today marks the opening of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS), a scheme entirely without precedent in the UK.    Its primary objective is to share the economic pain of this crisis by keeping unemployment much lower than it otherwise would have been. Indeed, although we estimate that non-working could increase by as much … Continued

Doing more of what it takes

Next steps in the economic response to coronavirus

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The Government has responded to coronavirus by shutting down large parts of the UK economy, and socialising the costs of doing so through a package of fiscal support to firms and individuals unprecedented in size and scope. Given uncertainty about how long public health restrictions will need to be in place, economic policy makers need to be prepared to manage what could … Continued

Next steps to support family incomes in the face of the coronavirus crisis

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The Government has set out an unprecedented package of support for family incomes, including paying 80 per cent of the wages of employees who currently have no work, via its Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Delivering that scheme should be the top priority, given its crucial role in preventing a very steep rise in unemployment and … Continued

Housing Outlook Q1 2020

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As we enter a new decade in which both the politics and economics of housing look set to be centre stage, this quarterly publication will be tracking all the key trends as the 2020s unfold. We will be keeping an eye on the housing market, and the way that housing intersects with both living standards and policy developments. This quarter, we begin with a look at house prices and ask whether the ‘levelling up’ we observe across the country since 2016 is at an end, or if the process still has further to run.

More than we bargain for

Learning from new debates on how institutions can improve worker pay and security in Anglo-Saxon economies

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The UK’s tight labour market is delivering improvements for many, but big challenges remain that current policies and debates aren’t yet rising to meet. The UK can learn from emerging discussions and policy innovations in other Anglo-Saxon economies.

Inequality street

Housing and the 2019 general election

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Political parties’ housing policies need to tackle the reasons for the public’s heightened concern about housing: low home ownership rates, high housing costs and the burden of high costs falling particularly on those with lower incomes.

Rounding up

Putting the 2019 Spending Round into context

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In his September 2019 Spending Round the Chancellor rightly declared he was “turning the page” on austerity and “writing a new chapter in our public services”. But he has also ripped up his own fiscal rulebook, almost certainly breaking the fiscal ‘mandate’ in the near-term and casting significant doubt over his ability to keep debt falling as a share of GDP over the coming years.

Breaking the rules

Analysing the credibility of the Chancellor’s commitment to keep to his fiscal rules

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The Chancellor is shortly to deliver the first spending round (SR) of the post-austerity era. Although he is only setting departmental budgets for 2020-21, this event will mark a turning point  in our political and economic debates as it brings to an end almost 10 years of austerity. The politics of this SR are relatively … Continued

An intergenerational audit for the UK

2019

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Our Intergenerational audit for the UK takes stock of generational living standards differences in Britain according to the latest data. It does this by considering living standards within four domains: jobs, skills and pay; housing costs and security; taxes, benefits and household income; and wealth and assets.

Sorry, we’re closed: Understanding the impact of retail’s decline on people and places

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Headlines about shop closures might give the impression that retail’s decline is a recent phenomenon, but retail’s share of employment has been falling for 15 years. This report digs behind this long-run trend, driven by changes in what we spend and how we spend it, and focuses in on what really matters when it comes to economic change: people and places.

Irregular Payments: Assessing the breadth and depth of month to month earnings volatility

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This research addresses the question of earnings volatility, unearthing striking findings about the lived experience of work – and the pay we receive for it – in the UK today. This report makes use of anonymised transaction data from over seven million Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) accounts in order to demonstrate the breadth and depth of changes in pay from month to month.

Home improvements: action to address the housing challenges faced by young people

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How we can tackle one of the biggest issues for young people in 21st century Britain: the housing crisis? In this report we move beyond a diagnosis of the problem to set out a series of policy options relating to three key areas: insecurity in the private rented sector, falling home ownership rates for young people and a long-term lack of house building.

Cross countries: international comparisons of intergenerational trends

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Public concerns about young people’s living standards are shared across high-income countries. This report compares the UK’s generational living standards challenges with those of other high-income economies, focusing on trends in household income and experiences in the labour and housing markets.

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