We all pay the price for narrow thinking on social protection

Whatever else ‘building back better’ was supposed to mean it is now clear it involves returning to exactly the system of social protection that existed before Covid struck.

When the furlough scheme and the crisis-related increase to Universal Credit…


Boris Johnson’s administration may well oversee the start of a period of major upheaval for the UK economy — quite possibly the largest since the 1980s. Whether it is post-Brexit trade dislocation, new patterns of production and consumption resulting from the imperative of Net Zero, a long Covid hangover, or…


These are my slides for a recent talk called ‘A Fair work recovery?’ given to an event organised by the Fair Work Convention.


A version of this article was first published by the Financial Times.

The significance of choices made in the midst of a crisis often get overlooked. During the first lockdown the UK government scrambled to invent a generous system of wage insurance for employees and income-protection for the self-employed. It…


As the new real Living Wage rates get announced — £9.50 in the UK and £10.85 in London — it is a good moment to reflect on the impact of the Living Wage campaign over recent years.

For all the publicity it attracts, what do we really know about how…


It presents a unique opportunity to learn about the difference that asset ownership can make

With little fanfare the UK is about to witness a mass experiment in the extension of access to capital. Other nations may have sovereign wealth funds, and some have experimented with universal basic incomes, but the UK is the first to create a citizen’s endowment for all young adults.

From…


As more workers are laid-off this autumn, the grim reality of meagre support will become clear

This article was first published by the Financial Times.

Resisting pressure to spend more on disadvantaged groups is seen as part of the job by battle-hardened officials in the UK Treasury. But stripping away…


Continuity and change in post-pandemic politics

“France in 1789. Russia in 1917. The Europe of the 1930s. The pandemic of 2020. They are all junctures where the river of history changes direction.” Margaret MacMillan, celebrated historian of the 20th Century, doesn’t hold back with the totemic comparisons. The implication is that the pandemic represents not just…


Making sense of the debate on the pandemic and its long-term impact on politics and policy

“France in 1789. Russia in 1917. The Europe of the 1930s. The pandemic of 2020. They are all junctures where the river of history changes direction.” Margaret MacMillan, celebrated historian of the 20th Century…


If we are to have a Churchillian response to the crisis, let’s have the right one

A shorter version of this piece first appeared in the FT.

It was inevitable, perhaps, that the current crisis would result in daily nods to our foremost leader during a time of national crisis…

Gavin Kelly

Gavin is chair of the Resolution Foundation and chair of the Living Wage Commission. He writes here in a personal capacity.

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