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New analysis from
Essex University and the LSE analyses the impact of benefit and direct tax
changes since the election in detail. This shows that the
poorest income groups lost the biggest
share of their incomes on
average, and those in the bottom half of incomes lost overall.
those in the top half of incomes
gained from direct tax cuts, with the exception of most of the top 5 per
cent – although within this 5 percent group those at the very top gained,
because of the cut in the top rate of income tax.
In total, the changes have not
contributed to cutting the deficit.
Rather, the savings
from reducing benefits and tax credits have been spent on raising the
tax-free income tax allowance.
analysis challenges the idea that those with incomes in the top tenth have
lost as great a share of their incomes as those with the lowest incomes
full paper can
be downloaded here (pdf)
by Paola De Agostini,
John Hills and
suggests that who has gained or lost most as a result of the Coalition’s policy
changes depends critically on when reforms are measured from.
Treasury analysis, suggesting
that those at the top have lost proportionately most starts from January
2010 and therefore includes the effects of income tax changes at the top
announced by Labour in 2009 and taking effect in April 2010, before the
But if the Coalition’s impacts
are measured comparing the system in 2014-15 with what would have happened
if the system inherited in May 2010, they have more clearly regressive
This resulted from the
combination of: changes to benefits and tax credits making them less
generous for the bottom and middle of the distribution; changes to Council
Tax and benefits from which those in the bottom half lost but the top half
gained; higher personal income tax allowances which meant the largest gains
for those in the middle, but with some income tax increases for the top 5
per cent; and the ‘triple lock’ on state pensions which were most valuable
as a proportion of their incomes for the bottom half.
groups were clear losers on average – including lone parent families, large
families, children, and middle-aged people (at the age when many are
parents), while others were gainers, including two-earner couples, and those
in their 50s and early 60s.
at the Institute for Social and
Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Essex commented: “It is striking
how seemingly technical issues or minor differences in assumptions like which
tax system is taken as the starting point for Coalition reforms, or whether to
assume 100% take-up of benefits have very big implications for what we conclude
about whether the rich or the poor were harder hit.”
Prof Hills, Director of the Centre for Analysis of
Social Exclusion at LSE, commented: “What is most remarkable about these results
is that the overall effect of direct tax and benefit changes under the Coalition
have not contributed to cutting the deficit.
The savings from benefit reforms have been
offset by the cost of raising the tax-free income tax allowance.
But those with incomes in the bottom half have
lost more on average from benefit and tax credit changes than they have gained
from the higher tax allowance.”
Paola De Agostini
is Senior Research Officer at the Institute
for Social and Economic Research
the University of Essex.
is Professor of Social Policy and Director of the
Centre for Analysis of
Social Exclusion (CASE)
at the London School of Economics.
is Research Professor and Director of
at the Institute for Social and
Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Essex.
paper was prepared
as part of CASE’s
Social Policy in a Cold Climate
programme, which is funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Nuffield
Foundation, and with London-specific analysis funded by the Trust for London.
The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of
the funders. The analysis uses the
tax-benefit model, EUROMOD, based at the University of Essex.
News Posted: 16 November 2014
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How has the
significant cuts to local authority funding affected front-line services? There
had undoubtedly been enormous strain on services and front-line staff,
with councils have argued that the limits to efficiency have been reached.
presents findings from a
for the Trust for London into the most deprived communities in London.
Read the blog at LSE British Politics and Policy
News Posted: 23 October 2014
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Abigail McKnight and
Just before the
minimum wage was introduced back in April 1999, disabled people were
disproportionately employed in jobs paying less that the NMW rate: 8.5% of
disabled men compared to 5.3% of non-disabled men, and 20% of disabled women
compared to 13.2% of non-disabled women. This meant that they stood to gain from
significant wage increases – but they were also most at risk of lay-offs, if
employers responded to the introduction of the minimum wage by reducing the
number of their employees.
At the time, there
were a number of calls for disabled people to be made exempt from the NMW for
this reason. But
our research found that both disabled and non-disabled men and
women actually increased their chances of remaining in work over the period that
the NMW was introduced. This was no
doubt due to the buoyant labour market at that time.
We also found no evidence among disabled men or among disabled women that
changes in their chances of remaining in work were significantly lower than for
non-disabled men or non-disabled women respectively.
We concluded that
exempting disabled employees from the NMW would be likely to increase
discrimination against disabled people by giving a clear signal to
employers and others that disabled workers could be treated less favourably.
This is in direct opposition to the Equality Act. The vast majority of disabled
employees earning less than the NMW before it was introduced did not lose their
jobs following its introduction. The introduction of the NMW therefore led to an
increase in the wage of these low-paid disabled employees, and, although it was
not covered in our original research, one would expect that subsequent increases
in the minimum wage have similarly benefitted disabled people in the labour
We suggest that a
much better approach would be to continue to keep disabled employees
under the scope of the NMW legislation, improve the enforcement of the
Equality Act and to support disabled employees with very low intrinsic levels of
productivity through supported employment services. Furthermore policy would be
better targeted at addressing the low levels of skill and education among parts
of the disabled population, which is most often the root cause of low wages and
high rates of non-employment.
In the light of the
recent comments made by Lord Freud that some disabled people are not worth the
National Minimum Wage we would like to suggest that our research findings are
just as relevant today as they were when first produced in 2003. Disabled people
have been major net gainers from the NMW and there is no evidence to support the
case that they should be exempt.
Research paper: Disability and the National Minimum Wage: A Special CASE?
News Posted: 20 October 2014
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CASE researchers, with funding from Trust for London, have examined,
through an in-depth case study approach, three London councils’ responses to
the cuts, as well as what those responses have meant for services and
residents of one of the most deprived wards of each borough. The research
focused on services for families with under-fives, young people 16-24 and
older people 65+.
Key findings include:
- Front line services for under-fives and young people have been
impacted in all wards (with the exception of under-fives services in
Camden) but not to the degree we might have expected from the extent
of local government spending cuts.
- Staff reductions were widely reported in these services and
were the principal change in most cases. Those reductions were
being offset as far as possible through paid staff doing more and
through use of volunteers. For this reason more extensive impact to
the front line had to this point been avoided.
- Services for older people had been affected more than services
for under-fives and young people in all three wards. Losses of day
centres, reductions in activities, or higher charges had occurred
across the case studies. Adult Social Care makes up the largest
part of council spending and as councils are obliged to protect
statutory provision discretionary community services are being
- In the wards where children’s centre activity provision had been
reduced parents reported worsening behavioural problems. Parents on
low incomes were not able to offset those service reductions by
paying for private services.
- Older residents who had experienced changes in local provision
reported greater boredom. In some cases the changes have created a
barrier to access (e.g. inability to pay higher charges) and leaving
those older residents more isolated. Social ties were being severed
with service losses.
- VCS organisations we spoke with are under increasing pressure,
particularly smaller, locally specific ones. We have to question
the long-term potential of VCS provision supplying the antidote to
council reductions at the local level given the extent of
competition for funding reported. We have noted here the reduction
in all wards of funding to VCS providers of older people’s services
and, importantly, the impact of that on older residents’ lives.
- This work reflects a snapshot at a particular point in time,
just before local elections in 2014 and before a second round of
budget cuts. The situation is likely to get worse. Several of the
service managers we spoke with were unsure of the future of their
job or the service they managed.
A summary is available to
download here (pdf) and the
report available here
The report is part of the Social
Policy in a Cold Climate research programme, jointly funded by
Joseph Rowntree Foundation and
Trust for London.
News Posted: 16 October 2014
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On 18th July 2014 the final report was launched from a year long research
project conducted by the London School of Economics for the London Borough of
Newham into the impact of debt and the experience of life on a low income.
The rising cost of living, stagnant wages and welfare reform have placed many
households under increased financial strain. This report, commissioned by the
London Borough of Newham and written independently by Professor Anne Power,
offers a powerful insight into the lives of some of the hardest pressed people
in our country. This research highlights the struggle of both working and
non-working households and explores the relationship between financial
planning and skills and attitudes to credit and debt. The report also provides a
valuable insight into the real impact of welfare reforms and helps to inform
Newham’s ongoing work to strengthen resilience.
A panel discussion was
held with Polly Toynbee (Guardian), Vidhya Alakeson (Resolution Foundation),
Professor Anne Power (LSE) and Sir Robin Wales (Mayor of Newham). The discussion
considered the drivers and solutions to increasing levels of personal debt and
what can be done locally, nationally and within the community to build economic
resilience. The London Borough of Newham also outlined its plans to respond to
the analysis in the report.
The full report is
available here (pdf). An
audio recording of the launch event is also
an interview with a
Newham resident who took part in the research.
News Posted: 18 July 2014
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Housing Plus is
about social landlords adopting a wider role in communities where they
are based. The bedroom tax, benefit caps and other welfare reforms are having
a dramatic impact on the lives of social housing tenants.
This workshop will
explore why the problem of work now dominates, why public opinion has become
hostile to supporting the unemployed, why social landlords need their tenants to
work, and how they can achieve this. By
bringing together social landlords from all over the country who are trying out
new ideas or are anxious to uncover more good ideas, we hope to uncover some
solutions. Read the
Think Tank summary and programme here and fill out the
registration form here.
News Posted: 03 July 2014
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Date: Monday 9 June 2014
Old Theatre, Old Building
Speakers: Professor Paul Cheshire, Rachel
Fisher and others to be announced
Chair: Mark Easton
The governor of the Bank of England recently warned that the overheated
housing market represents the "biggest risk" to the country’s long-term
Mark Carney said rising property prices and the subsequent
increase in large-value mortgages, could lead to a "debt overhang" capable of
destabilising the economy. He spoke of "deep, deep structural problems" in the
market, with demand for homes outstripping supply. In his native Canada, there
are half as many people yet twice as many houses are built there every year as
in the UK. On average over the past four years fewer market houses have been
built than at any time since WW2.
BBC Home Affairs editor Mark Easton asks this expert panel, including LSE’s
Paul Cheshire and Rachel Fisher of the National Housing Federation, why this
country has failed to build enough affordable homes and looks at what can be
done to solve our housing crisis.
The recording will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday 11 June at 20.02
Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #wheretolive
This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration
required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries see
LSE Events FAQ or contact us at email@example.com 0207
Media queries: please contact the Press Office if you would
like to request a press seat or have a media query about this event, email
Please note that press seats are usually allocated at least 24 hours before each
From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly
recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing
on the day of the event
News Posted: 09 June 2014
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An audio recording of the launch event can be
Increasing inequalities across some of the richest countries in the world
are not inevitable according to findings from an international research
project, which included a team of researchers from LSE.
Published in two volumes, launched at LSE on 27 March 2014, the research
shows that public policy plays a key role in shaping national inequalities
even within a highly globalized set of rich countries. Information on
inequality trends was gathered across 30 countries over the last 30 years.
Evidence of tax reforms across many of the countries reveals a trend towards
lowering marginal tax rates for high earners, reductions in taxes on capital
and capital income and removal or reductions in inheritance tax. This has
been coupled with a reduction in the effectiveness of welfare states in
ameliorating background inequality pressures.
is despite attitudinal data which reveals that people in these countries
expressed a dislike for inequality in their societies and believed that
governments should do more to redistribute income or increase spending on
programmes to enhance opportunity.
research also found that increases in inequalities have been accompanied by
falling political participation with fewer people voting in political
elections or actively engaging in politics, with much greater falls
occurring among the least advantaged members of societies than the more
Abigail McKnight, Senior Research Fellow at the
Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion
(CASE) at LSE, said: “Concern has been growing about increases in
concentration of income and wealth among a small group of people and the
relationship between this group and an emerging privileged political
elite. This new evidence on inequality trends, political participation and
evolving public policy is a concern for all democracies. The danger is that
disenfranchised groups are left open to being drawn in by emerging minority
political parties expressing narrow populist views
the UK we found that, over the period, voter turnout in UK general elections
fell. The gap between voters in the Professional social class and those in
the Unskilled social class widened from 10 percentage points in 1992 to 25
percentage points in 2005 with a similar gap found in the 2010 general
Within the group of countries studied there were examples of stable income
inequality, including Belgium and Southern European countries. Even though
the general trend was upwards, the timing of increases was variable and in
some countries there were even periods where inequality fell.
central and eastern European countries – transforming from Soviet-led
economies to free market economies – tended to experience large increases
in inequality but some navigated the path better than others. This partly
reflects the diverse nature of this group of countries and the role of
public policy. These countries appear to have polarised into a relatively
high inequality grouping (including Latvia, Bulgaria and Lithuania) and a
relatively low inequality grouping (including Slovenia, Slovakia and the
research also examined evidence on the impact of inequality on a wide
variety of social, cultural and political factors. Some previous research
has suggested that inequality is associated with a range of ‘social
ills’. Here the evidence was more mixed and while some areas seem to show a
clear relationship with inequality – for example, political engagement,
attitudes, some types of crime and imprisonment – this was not evident in
others, for example, marriage and divorce, economic stress, life expectancy,
overall crime rates. Individuals’ outcomes were often found to be more
strongly influenced by wider social change, such as family configuration,
and technological advances, such as health and crime, and policy played an
important role in weakening the link between inequality, opportunity and
outcomes. What did emerge was that in a number of areas income inequality
cast a shadow by increasing social gradients (the gaps between the least and
most advantaged) in, for example, political engagement, health and social
‘Growing Inequalities’ Impacts’
(GINI) was funded through the EU FP7 research programme (February 2010 –
July 2013) . The London School of Economics was one of six core
country partners (Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, UK) led by
Wiemer Salverda at the University of Amsterdam. This study involved over 200
researchers and analysed data for 30 countries (all 27 EU countries except
Malta and Cyprus plus Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea and the US) covering a
period of over 30 years. The project produced country reports covering all
30 countries, around 100 discussion papers, policy papers, reviews and
reports, all of which contributed to the two OUP volumes.
Changing Inequalities in Rich Countries: Analytical and Comparative
Perspectives Editors: Wiemer
Salverda, Brian Nolan, Daniele Checchi, Ive Marx, Abigail McKnight, István
György Tóth and Herman van de Werfhorst, Oxford University Press
Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich Countries: Thirty
Editors: Brian Nolan, Wiemer Salverda, Daniele Checchi, Ive Marx, Abigail
McKnight, István György Tóth and Herman van de Werfhorst, Oxford University
To mark the launch, Oxford University Press have agreed
to offer a 30% discount on book sales at the event or ordered online
News Posted: 19 March 2014
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March 2014, 6.30-8.00pm
A ground-breaking examination of the UK’s
dangerous relationship with the housing market, and how easily it could, will,
come crashing down
News Posted: 18 March 2014
From “generation rent” to rising homelessness, the
government’s Help to Buy scheme to the proposed “mansion
tax”, and negative equity to the recent sell-off of a London
council house for £3million, housing is the one issue that
affects us all.
Housing was at the heart of the
financial collapse, and in this ground-breaking new book,
Danny Dorling argues that housing is the defining
issue of our times.
Tracing how we got to our
current crisis and how housing has come to reflect class and
wealth in Britain, All That Is Solid radically
shows that the solution to our problems - rising
homelessness, a generation priced out of home ownership - is
not, as is widely assumed, building more homes. Inequality,
he argues, is what we really need to overcome.
Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor in Geography at the
University of Oxford, will launch his new book All that
is Solid: The Great Housing Disaster in a joint LSE
Housing and Communities and CASE event at LSE on Tuesday 18th
March (6.30-8.00pm) in TW1.G.01, Ground Floor,
Tower One, Clements Passage,
London WC2A 2AZ. This event is free but
booking is essential. To request a seat for this
event, please email
or telephone 020 7955 6330.
that rare university professor: expert, politically engaged
and able to explain simply why his subject matters. He
describes modern Britain as the most unequal society since
Dickens's times, and picks apart the orthodoxies that allow
Martin Wainwright, the Guardian
Dorling: All that is Solid: The Great Housing Disaster
London: Allen Lane
Hardback £20.00 ISBN 9781846147159
E-book also available
Published on 27th February 2014
To order this book please see:
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Wednesday 19th February 2014 4.30pm - 6.00pm followed by an informal reception
London School of Economics, Room 1.04. 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, WC2A 3PH
(Map and directions
Presentations from the editors Ludovica Gambaro and Kitty Stewart. Jane Waldfogel will join via video link.
- Vidhya Alakeson, Resolution Foundation
- Leon Feinstein, Early Intervention Foundation.
- Howard Glennerster, Emeritus Professor, LSE
This presentation marks the launch of the book 'An Equal Start? Providing Quality Early Education and Care for Disadvantaged Children', published by Policy Press, edited by Ludovica Gambaro, Kitty Stewart and Jane Waldfogel. The book examines how the UK and seven other OECD countries manage the provision of early education and care, and focuses in particular on the way that funding and regulation mechanisms operate to ensure that disadvantaged children access high quality provision. The study looks at countries where the private and voluntary sectors are involved in delivery of early education and care and asks whether experience elsewhere offers potential lessons for the UK. The countries included are: Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, and the US.
This work was part of a larger project generously funded by the Nuffield Foundation and carried out in conjunction with Daycare Trust (now Family and Childcare Trust)
To book a place please click here
News Posted: 19 February 2014
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Changing Inequalities and
Societal Impacts in Rich
Edited by Wiemer Salverda,
Daniele Checchi, Ive Marx,
Abigail McKnight, István György
Tóth, and Herman G. van de
The GINI project reached its
following three and a half years
of collaborative research into
changing inequalities in 30
countries. The project looks at
the long-term impacts of
inequalities on social,
political, cultural and economic
aspects of life Two
volumes based on the findings
have just been published by
Oxford University Press. Details
of the launch event to follow
soon. Further information can be
found on the The
Changing Inequalities in
Rich Countries: Analytical
and Comparative Perspectives
This volume investigates
inequality trends in income,
wealth, education, and the
labour market, providing
detailed information on
across 30 countries
examining trends over 30
years. The research
analysis with evidence from
experiences to examine the
relationship between changes
in inequality and societal,
cultural and political
outcomes. This is followed
by an assessment of the
policy response across
News Posted: 12 February 2014 [Back to the Top]
– Tuesday 4th
Trafford Hall, near Chester
Housing Plus is about social landlords adopting a wider role in
communities where they are based. The bedroom tax, benefit caps and other
welfare reforms are having a dramatic impact on the lives of social housing
tenants, particularly those under 60. Landlords face big challenges in
helping their tenants and collecting rents which pay for housing services.
This is the second special Think Tank for social housing tenants and it
is important for tenant voices to be heard, and their experiences are
shared. We want to gather real evidence from the ground and share it widely. We
are interested in discovering who are the most vulnerable and worst affected
tenants, whether there is more that can be done, whether landlords are
developing better access routes and more support for tenants as a result of the
pressures of welfare reform, and also whether welfare reform is being properly
connected to work and job opportunities.
full event programme
News Posted: 07 February 2014
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Date: Thursday 23rd January 2014, 2.00pm to 5.00pm
Venue: London School of Economics, Old Building room OLD3.21
Suggested Twitter hashtag #EdSocMob
The programme is
All major political parties are now committed to reducing educational inequalities. What can they really hope to achieve, and how? To what extent will closing educational attainment gaps in schools contribute to greater social mobility in the future?
This event will present findings from three important research studies by leading education economists and sociologists, followed by comments from policy-makers and practitioners and a debate from the floor. The event is free and open to all, early booking is recommended.
- Geoff Whitty (Institute of Education) and Jake Anders
(Institute of Education)
(How) did New Labour narrow the achievement and participation gap?
- Claire Crawford (Institute for Fiscal Studies)
Socio-economic gaps in HE participation and outcomes
- Jo Blanden (University of Surrey) and Lindsey Macmillan (Institute of Education)
Education and Intergenerational Mobility: Help or Hindrance?
- Tessa Stone, The Brightside Trust
- Sir Alan Steer, Retired secondary head and government adviser 2004-10
- Graeme Cooke, IPPR
This event is now fully booked.
Presentations and papers from this event are available here
News Posted: 23 January 2014
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