Death to the death tax?

David Cameron’s pledge to raise the threshold for death taxes could cost the Treasury several billion pounds per year by 2019, according to a new Observation from the Institute of Fiscal Studies. The paper argues a more fundamental reform would be preferable.

Immigration curbs will have negative impact on economy

Analysis of  government targets to reduce immigration shows that meeting those targets by 2060 will result in significant decreases in GDP and net income, whilst taxes would have to increase. The study was undertaken by the National Institute of Social and Economic Research.

The best and worst evidence of 2013?

The Alliance for Useful evidence devoted its Christmas party to a discussion on what constitutes good evidence for policy-makers – and to a discussion of some examples of what doesn’t. Carey Oppenheim, Chief Executive of the Early Intervention Foundation, reflects on the event and on her own organisation’s evidence-based work.

The times, are they changing?

We perceive our lives to be changing more rapidly than previous generations. As the ESRC launches its Britain in 2014 publication Raj Patel, Impact Fellow with the UK’s household longitudinal study Understanding Society, asks whether that really is the case.

Poor suffering more as living costs rise by 25%

Living costs which have risen by 25% in the past five years are placing an “unprecedented” financial burden on the UK’s poorest, with pensioners and single people the worst affected, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The report’s authors suggest that cuts to tax credits and benefits, combined with stagnant wages and the rising costs […]

Children missing out on free school meals

Almost a quarter of a million children registered for free school meals are not receiving them, figures show. Figures from January show 1,307,455 pupils registered for free school meals, a key measure of poverty. Of these, 82.7% actually took up the dinners, meaning 225,690 schoolchildren were not eating the free meals for which they were […]

Scotland’s inequality ‘widening’ say Oxfam

Scotland’s wealthiest households are now over 273 times better off than the most deprived, with inequality, according to a report , made worse by the tax and benefits system. The Oxfam report calls for a “fundamental change” to the current economic model, focusing on the creation of an official Poverty Commissioner for Scotland and a […]

The ‘squeezed middle’ – what can we learn from the Americans?

This week a Yougov poll revealed most people in Britain, the US and Germany feel their living standards have been hit by the slump – and they expect them to be dragged down for decades to come. Sophia Parker, editor of The Squeezed Middle: the pressure on ordinary workers in America and Britain. asks what lessons we might learn from the US experience.