Wealth of our nation – new research

Jointly with Ashwin Kumar I’ve today published a Smith Institute discussion paper that explores the new Wealth and Assets data to see how the wealth distribution alters across UK households over time. It shows the inextricable link between housing and overall wealth distribution, the importance of dealing with consumer indebtedness and highlights how many people who receive inheritances do so at exactly the time when they need it the least.

It includes a typology of wealth that was one of the highest-read FT blogs and there was a news comment in the Daily Telegraph as well.

Pay progression – new insights on barriers faced by the lowest paid

Our company, Tooley Street Research, has today published an innovative new piece of data analysis and qualitative research exploring the characteristics of people who find it hard over time to progress beyond 20 per cent above the minimum wage. We were commissioned by CiPD and John Lewis Partnership and the report is available here on the CiPD website: Pay progression: Understanding the barriers for the lowest paid.

It was also referenced in a piece in yesterday’s FT (Public sector cuts worsen low-pay trap 21st October 2014)

Key results are the vulnerability of part-time workers, and in particular those with children of pre-school age. In practice this means that women who are on low wages working part-time are much more likely to be “stuck” there.

Reflections – purely personal – on the family life of politicians

Yesterday the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women in Parliament, made up of a backbench group of MPs chaired by the Conservative Mary Macleod MP, published a report entitled Improving Parliament: Creating a More Representative House. As a former MP who stepped down for family reasons I had given evidence to the committee in private earlier in the year. Today, on the day that David Cameron champions a reshuffle designed to bring more women into the Cabinet, I published a personal piece in the Daily Telegraph with some reflections on politicians and family life.

Venturing forth: increasing high value entrepreneurship

Today sees the publication of a research report by the Social Market Foundation think-tank that I jointly authored with the SMF’s chief economist, Nida Broughton. The culmination of two years work, it argues that there is a latent supply of entrepreneurs in Britain that could potentially have significant economic impact if they are supported to make the transition out of traditional employment. Based on original new research with potential entrepreneurs it argues that government should reform employment laws to enable people to try out new business ideas whilst still retaining links with their former employers in case they need to return, with corresponding benefits for employers. Here’s the link and here’s a blog summarising it

The OBR’s supply-side review will have political implications

Here’s a link to a piece published in CityAM this morning that explores the political implications of the Office of Budget Responsibility’s decision to review over the summer its estimates of the supply side potential of the economy. Since the ability of the economy to grow without causing inflationary pressures is linked to estimates of the structural deficit, any change will affect the perceived success – or otherwise – of the government’s attempts to meet its self-imposed target to eliminate it.  A smaller structural deficit and the government looks economically competent; a larger one and the rhetoric will shift to the need for longer-term solutions.