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

Stressed out

April brings an acute squeeze on UK living standards as higher energy bills lead to widespread fuel stress

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April 2022 will see the UK’s cost of living crisis intensify as energy prices jump by more than half overnight, pushing 5 million English households into fuel stress, even accounting for support measures recently announced by the Chancellor. This is not the end, though. Against a backdrop of the highest inflation rate in 40 years … 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

Are you better off today?

Real income growth under different governments since 1955

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In the 1980 presidential contest between the incumbent Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, the latter asked voters “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”. Although far from the only question that voters do or should ask, it is a reasonable question. In the UK, since 1955, real household disposable income per … 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

Ventures
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Living standards
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Technological change
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Financial inclusion

Shock absorbers

Innovating to boost financial resilience in Europe

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This paper reviews the potential for innovation to address financial resilience problems in France, Germany and the UK, emerging from the Covid-19 crisis, and sets out a framework of supply and demand to look at innovative approaches to financial resilience. It applies this framework to France, Germany and the UK, and makes suggestions as to how innovation could best be supported in future.

Pandemic Pressures

Why families on a low income are spending more during Covid-19

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Household spending has fallen during the Covid-19 pandemic, but not for many of those on the lowest incomes. This note brings together data from representative surveys with vivid accounts from parents and carers participating in the ‘Covid Realities’ research programme to explore the reasons behind, and consequences of, the cost pressures that many have faced since the pandemic began.

Improving our understanding of UK poverty will require better data

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Policy makers across the political spectrum want to improve the living standards of the UK’s poorer households. The Leader of the House of Commons recently stated that “We are committed to our manifesto pledge to reduce child poverty”, while the last Labour manifesto pledged to “eradicate in-work poverty”. So statistics about poverty matter. We need … 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

The time of your life

Time use in London and the UK over the past 40 years

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Few things in life are equal, but each day every one of us has 24 hours of time to use. How  time is best spent has been the subject of an active public debate in recent years, and this question has been thrown still further into the limelight by the disruptions of the coronavirus pandemic. … Continued

Time with the kids

How parents’ time use has changed during the pandemic

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Many aspects of people’s time use have been turned upside down by the coronavirus lockdown. Some restrictions are now being unwound, but others, like limits on the availability of professional childcare, will continue, with particular consequences for how parents of different genders use their time. Indeed, data collected during the lockdown suggests that while job … Continued

Lockdown living

Housing quality across the generations

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For three months, the majority of the population has ‘stayed home to save lives’, bringing the quality of our housing stock and neighbourhoods into sharp relief. In this briefing note, we explore how long-term housing trends have resulted in significant gaps between generations when it comes to living conditions. As we face the prospect of further local or national lockdowns going into the winter months, we argue the inequalities we uncover demand attention from policy makers more than ever before.

Return to spender

Findings on family incomes and spending from the Resolution Foundation’s coronavirus survey

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Based on the Resolution Foundation’s new coronavirus survey of 6,000 working-age adults, this briefing note explores family spending during the crisis, with a focus on how outcomes have differed across the working-age income distribution.

Doing what it takes

Protecting firms and families from the economic impact of coronavirus

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The coronavirus health crisis is now a full-blown economic crisis, and one that may last for much more than a few months. Firms will go bust and unemployment will rise. The majority of this economic damage will be driven not by the direct impact of coronavirus itself, but by the necessary measures – such as social distancing – that we put in place to respond to it.

Living standards
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Inequality & poverty
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Cities and regions
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Political parties and elections

Painting the towns blue

Demography, economy and living standards in the political geographies emerging from the 2019 General Election

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This report provides an audit of the demography, economy and living standards of what we term the ‘Blue Wall’: the 50 seats that were gained by the Conservatives from Labour in the North East and West, Yorkshire and the Humber, the East and West Midlands, and Wales. We explore whether simplistic characterisations of the Blue … Continued

Mapping millennials’ living standards

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Intergenerational progress – the idea that each successive cohort should have higher living standards than predecessors at the same age – has slowed down markedly for today’s young adults. This puts their experience in stark contrast to the rapid cohort-on-cohort improvements in standards of living up until those born in the 1970s. Because many people … Continued

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