Catastrophic caps

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

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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

A pre-election Statement

Putting the Autumn Statement 2023 in context

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In this briefing note, we put the decisions in the 2023 Autumn Statement in context, discussing how the economic outlook has changed, what that means for the public finances, and how the policy decisions taken will affect living standards in both the short and the medium term.

A tale of two cities (part 2)

A plausible strategy for productivity growth in Greater Manchester and beyond

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Few would disagree that the UK has a significant productivity problem, or fail to recognise that the poor performance of the nation’s largest cities outside the capital contribute to that situation. As the Economy 2030 Inquiry has made clear, the productivity of our largest cities lags the UK average, bucking the global trend for bigger … Continued

A tale of two cities (part 1)

A plausible strategy for productivity growth in Birmingham and beyond

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After the success of the Commonwealth games in 2022, Birmingham is now in the news for the wrong reasons. Financial difficulties facing the City Council culminated in a formal declaration on 5 September 2023 that Britain’s largest local authority was, in effect, bankrupt. But the understandable short-term focus on the council’s financial woes must not … Continued

Sharing the benefits

Can Britain secure broadly shared prosperity?

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The UK has been living through a period of relative decline that has proved toxic for those on low-to-middle incomes. Against that backdrop, this report examines whether there is still a plausible path to steadily rising shared prosperity and, if so, what does it look like. It does this as part of the Economy 2030 … Continued

Food for thought

The role of food prices in the cost of living crisis

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The cost of living crisis is often thought of as a cost of energy crisis. That is an understandable, but increasingly inadequate, view. In particular, it understates the growing role of food prices (up by 25 per cent over the past year and a half) in the squeeze on living standards that households – especially … Continued

Hoping and coping

How families were faring in March 2023

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Families in the UK found themselves in the midst of a cost of living crisis over the winter. Inflation has skyrocketed over the past year, with prices still over 10 per cent higher than a year ago. In response to the squeeze, the Government provided £47 billion of support to households in 2022-23, offsetting around … Continued

Trying times

How people living in poor quality housing have fared during the cost of living crisis

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Plenty of research has shown the important role housing plays on our living standards, attitudes and wider health and wellbeing. But less attention has been paid to the effect of housing quality on living standards. In this report, we use data collected in March 2023 from an online YouGov survey (funded by The Health Foundation) … Continued

We’re going on a growth Hunt

Putting the 2023 Spring Budget in context

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This report examines the economic backdrop to Budget 2023, and assesses whether the Chancellor has successfully delivered on his central objective of boosting growth through higher employment and business investment.

New Budget, same problems

Spring Budget preview

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In our Spring Budget preview slidepack, we assess the economic outlook ahead of Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Budget on March 15th, and explore the policy choices facing the Chancellor in three key areas: cost-of-living support, public sector pay and boosting growth. We find that there is finally some good news for the Chancellor in the short … Continued

Help today, squeeze tomorrow

Putting the 2022 Autumn Statement in context

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This report presents Resolution Foundation’s analysis of the 2022 Autumn Statement. In the face of grim economic and fiscal forecasts, Jeremy Hunt announced energy support today but tougher times tomorrow, with stealth tax rises for the middle and top of the income distribution followed by spending cuts after the next election.

An intergenerational audit for the UK

2022

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Our fourth Intergenerational Audit – part of the ESRC-funded Connecting Generations partnership – provides an analysis of economic living standards across generations in Britain. In so doing, it analyses the latest data across four domains:  Household incomes and costs;  Jobs, skills and pay;  Wealth and assets; and  Housing costs and security.  In each of these domains, … Continued

Mind the (credibility) gap

Autumn Statement preview

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In our Autumn-Statement preview slidepack, we present new analysis that explores the economic outlook ahead of the Autumn Statement on 17 November, and the critical decisions that the new Prime Minister and Chancellor must make. With the latest political turmoil triggered by attempts to completely rewrite economic policy, Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt are under … Continued

Universal Credit
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Welfare

The Long Squeeze

Benefit uprating policy for April 2023

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To offset the impact of tax cuts on the public finances, the Government is considering how it might cut spending. One option that has been discussed is the possibility of raising some benefits in line with earnings rather than inflation next April. This paper explores what this might entail, the potential savings and impacts, and … Continued

Cover for mini budget analysis, Blowing the Budget

Blowing the budget

Assessing the implications of the September 2022 fiscal statement

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The Chancellor decided to blow the budget in his first fiscal statement, bringing forward a £45 billion package of tax cuts, the biggest for 50 years. In this briefing note, we show that today’s Government is no longer fiscally conservative nor courting the Red Wall. Instead, debt is on course to rise in each and every year of the forecast period, and the focus has shifted to the South of England, where the beneficiaries of these tax cuts are more likely to be living.

In at the deep end

The living standards crisis facing the new Prime Minister

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This paper sets out projections for household living standards through to 2026-27. With the UK facing the largest two-year real income fall in at least a century, these forecasts make it clear that a big policy response will be needed from the new government.

Right Where You Left Me?

Analysis of the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on local economies in the UK

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Now that the Covid-19 pandemic is largely behind us, this report, part of the Economy 2030 Inquiry, considers what might be the long-term impacts of Covid-19 on spatial inequalities across the UK in key economic outcomes.  In contrast to the initial fears that Covid could permanently damage our cities (by removing office workers, with the … Continued

Back on target

Analysis of the Government’s additional cost of living support

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The Chancellor yesterday announced a big and well-targeted package of energy bill support. Of the £15 billion of new measures, almost double that announced earlier in the year, twice as much will go to households in the bottom half of the income distribution as the top half. This fills the gaping hole left by the … Continued

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

Universal Credit
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Living standards
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Welfare

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

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