Senior policy analyst
By Tom Lee
04 August 2020
Covid-19 has led to big falls in household incomes across the country, with further reductions to come. But what has the overall effect been on household incomes? We know that pre-Covid-19 4.2 million children were living in poverty. But what is poverty? How has this number changed? Is it just that number that we care about? And what can be done to help families in poverty in the UK?
13 May 2020
Yesterday, the Chancellor announced that the job retention scheme will continue until October. This will be a huge relief to the 7.5 million workers who rely on support from the scheme, and will avert a huge second surge in unemployment as a result of the crisis, which is already set to rise to it’s highest level for 25 years. This extension is welcome, but there is no reason why more generous unemployment benefits couldn’t exist in the UK permanently.
12 May 2020
Covid-19 has clearly had a massive impact on household incomes in the UK. Millions of people have lost their job and millions more have been furloughed. It will take a while to understand the complete effect of Covid on household incomes but some initial quantitative findings can help shed light on the effect of the pandemic on families.
Lots of attention is given to the number of children in poverty but as a society we do not only care about the rate of poverty but also the depth of poverty. If everyone in poverty is very close to the poverty line we should perhaps worry less than when millions of people are substantially below the poverty line. A good way to measure the depth of poverty is the median poverty gap, which indicates how far below the poverty line the average family in poverty is.
In recent years, there has been a lot of talk about basic income. But what exactly is basic income? And what would the economic effects be of such a comprehensive change to the tax-benefit system?
29 October 2019
For many families upfront childcare costs are a significant barrier to work. Under tax credits, parents can get financial support for upfront childcare costs. However, under universal credit any help with childcare is paid retrospectively. This is a big problem as the majority of childcare requires parents to pay for a month/term in advance.