The worrying story about wealth

The wealth gap rose during the last downturn. The young and those less well off now face many challenges both in terms of rebuilding their finances and saving for the future.

Unlock growth and prosperity with the productivity key

During the recent recession, the low skilled and young adults suffered the most putting an increasing strain on the benefit system. Professor Sir Richard Blundell argues a focus on productivity and tax reform are the key to raising living standards while tax reform needs to address top income inequality.

PM speaks with staff member Makeda Sanford about welfare reform

Lives change – why policy needs to allow for that

Policy debates on ‘welfare’ and the welfare state often revolve around the assumption that people separate into two unchanging groups – those who pay, and those who benefit. But the world just isn’t like that says Professor John Hills, who thinks policy makers should remember the world is neither random nor rigid.

Number below the poverty line continues to rise

In 2012–13, 10.6 million individuals (17%) had a household income below the official absolute poverty line. When incomes are measured after deducting housing costs, however, the number below the poverty line (e.g. below £235 per week for a childless couple) rose by about 600,000 in 2012–13 to 14.6 million (23%). This is about 2.0 million […]

Council tax debt on the rise

Council tax debt is now the biggest source of personal debt for its clients according to new figures released by the Citizen’s Advice Bureau which also show a steep rise in indebtedness since the second quarter of 2013. More than one in five of its clients are now in arrears on their council tax payments.

Tax and the perception gap

Almost 70% of us believe that the well off pay a larger percentage of their income in tax than those in the lowest income brackets, according to a new survey undertaken for the Equality Trust. The reality is different; a household in the bottom 10% pays 43% of its income in tax whilst average and […]

London driving house price rises

UK house prices increased by 9.9 per cent in the financial year to April 2014, government statistics revealed today. Whilst prices are now higher than the pre-recession levels of 2008 the average figure is distorted by runaway house price inflation in London (18.9%) and to a lesser extent the South East (8.9%) and East Anglia […]

Counting the cost of behaviour problems in young children

Hyperactivity and behaviour problems are associated with increased health, social care and criminal justice costs in adulthood according to a report released by The London School of Economics. The study shows the increase in costs to be between two and three times for children with behaviour problems. This report provides much needed data as little […]

Are we still feeling the squeeze?

With unemployment and inflation falling, there are signs the economy is starting to improve. But living standards are still lower than before the recession. Matt Barnes, Research Director at Natcen Social Research, examines the evidence.