Economy 2030
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Welfare

Social Insecurity

Assessing trends in social security to prepare for the decade of change ahead

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The UK is facing a decade of unprecedented economic change as we adjust to a post-Covid-19 economy, a new economic context outside the European Union (EU), and the decarbonisation of the economy.  And the social security system has a key role to play in the years ahead: it is part of the policy toolkit for … Continued

Taper cut

Analysis of the Autumn Budget changes to Universal Credit

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This briefing note looks at the changes to Universal Credit (UC) – the main benefit for low-income families – made by the Chancellor in the Autumn 2021 Budget. The reduction in the taper rate from 63 to 55 percent, and increase in the work allowance by £500 a year, represent a significant, permanent increase in … Continued

The Boris Budget

Resolution Foundation analysis of Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021

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This briefing note provides an assessment of the measures announced in the October 2021 Budget and Spending Review. The Chancellor has unveiled a career-defining third Budget against a backdrop of heightened uncertainty and risks. His aim: to draw a line under Covid-19, boost spending in the key priority areas yet also bear down on the … Continued

An intergenerational audit for the UK

2021

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Our third Intergenerational Audit – supported by the Nuffield Foundation –  provides an analysis of economic living standards across generations in Britain. In so doing, it analyses the latest data across four domains: Jobs, skills and pay Housing costs and security Taxes, benefits and household incomes Wealth and assets In each of these domains, we … Continued

The big squeeze

Assessing the changes to family incomes over the next six months

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This winter will see a major income squeeze – and it will be focused on low-to-middle income households. High inflation, especially higher energy bills, will strain many families’ finances. But these pressures will be compounded for over 4 million families when £20 a week is cut from Universal Credit in October 2021. Looking forward, April … Continued

Age-old or new-age?

The changing incidence of social security benefits by age

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At the start of the Covid-19 crisis, the number of families receiving income from the benefits system increased significantly, with 1.3 million more families receiving Universal Credit within three months – reversing a trend of a steady decline in families receiving benefits. In this briefing note, we examine the shift in the numbers of families … Continued

In need of support?

Lessons from the Covid-19 crisis for our social security system

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This briefing note looks at the lessons we have learnt about the UK’s welfare system over the course of the Covid-19 crisis so far, and what those lessons might mean for its future direction. The £111 billion spent so far on supporting incomes during the pandemic should remind us of the importance of welfare systems. … Continued

Spending fast, taxing slow

Resolution Foundation analysis of Budget 2021

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This briefing note provides an assessment of the measures announced in the March 2021 Budget. The context for this Budget was an intensification of the Covid-19 pandemic, creating a need for further policy measures to support families and firms in the months before the completion of the vaccine rollout. In response, the Chancellor announced significant … Continued

Half-measures

The Chancellor’s options for Universal Credit in the Budget

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The Government has still to decide on whether to continue the £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit (UC) and Working Tax Credit (WTC), due to expire in just 45 days. There are suggestions the Chancellor will opt for a halfway house of keeping the uplift for six months. Compared to the pencilled-in default of … Continued

The debts that divide us

Flash findings from a survey of families claiming Universal Credit

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The surge in claims for Universal Credit (UC) when the pandemic first hit means that UC caseloads are now about twice as high as they were pre-pandemic, with over half of all single parents now in receipt of UC.  About 60 per cent of the current caseload have newly-claimed UC during 2020, and the fraction … Continued

Macroeconomic Policy Outlook Q4 2020

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This is our regular Macro Policy Outlook, providing a policy-focused take on the economy. In this edition, we focus on the labour market, and the prospects for unemployment.   This edition of the Macro Policy Outlook looks ahead to prospects for 2021. The early months of next year will pick up where 2020 left off, … Continued

Here today, gone tomorrow

Putting Spending Review 2020 into context

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This briefing note provides an assessment of the measures announced in the November 2020 Spending Review. The backdrop to that Review was the reality of an on-going health crisis and a huge hit to the economy which looks set to leave lasting damage to both household and public finances. In response, the Chancellor has ramped up coronavirus spending this … Continued

The Covid state

Analysis of the economy and public finances ahead of the 2020 Spending Review

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The Chancellor is set to unveil his Spending Review against a radically changed economic and fiscal backdrop to the one he faced in March. Although unemployment is set to peak lower and later than had been expected back in the Summer, the long-term economic scarring from this crisis is set to be significant. The OBR’s … Continued

Caught in a (Covid) trap

Incomes, savings and spending through the coronavirus crisis

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In this briefing note we examine how the family finances of working-age adults have been affected since Covid-19 gripped the nation this spring. Drawing on new data from a representative survey of 6,000-plus working-age adults fielded in mid-September, we take a close look at how incomes, spending and saving changed during both the lockdown (April … 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

Safe harbour?

Six key welfare policy decisions to navigate this winter

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Despite the new Job Support Scheme, unemployment is set to rise substantially through the autumn and winter, as the Job Retention Scheme ends and the hospitality sector adjusts to new restrictions. This means many more individuals will soon be dependent on the social security system; and as the economy moves into the next phase of … Continued

Death by £1000 cuts?

The history, economics and politics of cutting benefits for millions of households next April

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The first Conservative Conference of a new parliament begins. It comes on the back of a surprisingly emphatic election win, but with rumblings beginning about the Chancellor’s plan to take £1,000 away from millions of low-income households in just six months’ time. At that conference it is George Osborne, not Rishi Sunak, that gets up … 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

All together now?

The impacts of the Government’s coronavirus income support schemes across the age distribution

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This note looks at how policies to protect household incomes in the pandemic – the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS), the self-employment income support scheme (SEISS), and a significant boost to social security benefits – have been felt across different age groups during the first months of the crisis.

The truth will out

Understanding labour market statistics during the coronavirus crisis

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Labour market statistics matter. In normal times, they offer a snapshot on how household living standards are faring, and in recessions they also provide a key measure of how serious a crisis we face. Because the current coronavirus crisis is rooted in the labour market, even more attention is being paid to the monthly labour … Continued

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