unemployment

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    The many ways in which Universal Credit could adversely affect family structures

The many ways in which Universal Credit could adversely affect family structures

The way Universal Credit has been designed is troubling, especially for couple households that will be paid a single monthly payment in one account. Yet while the difficulties of managing a monthly budget have been acknowledged, the idea has almost universally been lauded as a good one. Rita Griffiths explains the various reasons why this is not the case.

The […]

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    Why the Bank of England should change how it publishes the future path of interest rates

Why the Bank of England should change how it publishes the future path of interest rates

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee should revisit the issue of publishing its own future path of interest rates, argue Michael Ellington and Costas Milas. They review the current process and explain why it is not very effective.

It was widely expected and indeed happened. The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided, by a 7-2 majority, to […]

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    How politicians created, rather than reacted to, negative public opinion on benefits

How politicians created, rather than reacted to, negative public opinion on benefits

Using House of Commons speeches on welfare from the late 1980s to 2015, Tom O’Grady finds that declining support for the benefits system was a top-down phenomenon. Shifts in political rhetoric – especially from Labour – did not occur after public opinion changed, but took place slightly before the public was changing its mind about benefits. 

As Theresa May’s government […]

Is the national living wage improving living standards?

Although the national living wage has led to a significant pay boost for Britain’s least well-off workers, significant challenges remain, writes George Bangham. He argues that the quality of work is still an issue and that the government must find ways to work with businesses so as to ensure people don’t keep getting trapped at the very lowest end […]

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    Welfare to work initiatives: understanding the politics of subcontracted service delivery

Welfare to work initiatives: understanding the politics of subcontracted service delivery

Drawing on empirical research on the recent Work Programme, Rebecca Taylor, James Rees, and Christopher Damm explain how providers from the public, private, and third sector experienced delivering it; and how the supply chain model worked.

In spring 2017 the government’s main welfare to work initiative – the imaginatively titled Work Programme – reached its unheralded conclusion. It was replaced […]

Is any job really better than no job at all?

Until recently it was thought that what affects human happiness is the mere presence or the absence of a job, rather than its kind. But, as Tarani Chandola’s new study shows, people working in poor quality jobs have higher levels of chronic stress than those who are unemployed.

Lord Layard posed the question is “any job is better than no job” […]

Four reasons why welfare reform is a delusion

Reforming the welfare system has been a key aim of British government since 2010. Richard Machin writes that the concept makes no economic sense, it does not produce the outcomes the government is seeking, all while the UK is actually spending less on welfare than countries with comparable economies.

Back in 2010, the coalition government stated that welfare reform is […]

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    How the government keeps underestimating the risk of benefit sanctions to single parents

How the government keeps underestimating the risk of benefit sanctions to single parents

Only a ‘tiny minority’ is affected by benefit sanctions, according to the government. This claim relies on weak data, writes Sumi Rabindrakumar. She looks at the data for single parent sanctions and explains why the risk is not only far greater than suggested, but has also increased compared to a decade ago. So although the government has resisted a […]