Think Tanks

Work & Pensions

2 Jan 2010 08:04:18

Men hurt more than women in 'Full Monty' recession

Research by Policy Exchange suggests that men have been more hurt by the recession than women.

The Telegraph reports: "The number of men in employment fell three times more than the number of women in one year, with the employment rate of women falling by 2.8% up to September 2009 and the employment rate of men slumping by 8.8 per cent... Official figures show that the number of men of working age with jobs has fallen from 92% in 1971 to 75%. The number of women who are employed has risen from 56 per cent to 69%, narrowing the gap between women and men to 6%."

Neil O'Brien, director of Policy Exchange, said: 'We are having a Full Monty-style recession with women faring much better than men. As Britain has lost industrial jobs over the last couple of decades, the number of men in work has collapsed, and the numbers on benefits soared. The current recession is accelerating this trend further.” The Fully Monty was a 1997 hit film that showed how a group on men in Sheffield became strippers after losing their jobs in the steel industry.

[No link yet available on the Policy Exchange website.]

31 Oct 2009 13:14:00

A welfare system for the most vulnerable


"The end of entitlement" (PDF)

Authors: Thomas Cawston, Andrew Haldenby and Patrick Nolan

Publication date: October 2009

One of the principal themes of this report is that in an age of financial hardship resulting in increasing pressure on the welfare state, middle class welfare is unsustainable. According to the authors middle class welfare amounts to around £31billion per year and the report states that welfare should be channelled towards those who need it most. The report supports substantially cutting middle class welfare benefits along with handing benefit rules and operation to social enterprises and companies.

30 Sep 2009 16:47:00

Ten key economic policies for the next government


"Ten Economic Priorities - An agenda for an incoming government" (PDF)

Author: Nigel Hawkins

Publication date: September 2009

This report details ten key economic policies which, in the view of the author, the next government should adopt in order to address the dire state of the UK's public finances. These policies include cutting taxes, implementing cuts in public expenditure and pursuing privatisation opportunities.

30 Sep 2009 10:57:00

Re-working the welfare system


"Dynamic Benefits: Towards Welfare That Works, Part I" (PDF)

"Dynamic Benefits: Towards Welfare That Works, Parts II and III"(PDF)

"Dynamic Benefits: Towards Welfare That Works, Appendices"(PDF)

"Dynamic Benefits: Towards Welfare That Works, Executive Summary" (PDF)

"Dynamic Benefits: Towards Welfare That Works, Preface by the Rt. Hon. Iain Duncan Smith MP"(PDF)

Authors: Centre for Social Justice Economic Dependency Working Group, chaired by Dr Stephen Brien

Publication date: September 2009

This report acknowledges that the benefits system is broken and has perpetuated poverty and worklessness. There are 5.9 million people of working age not working and receiving state benefits along with nearly one million young people not in education, employment or training. This reports suggests a comprehensive reform of the benefits and taxation systems in order to ensure more people are incentivised to return to work and in order to address poverty among the most vulnerable in society.

28 Sep 2009 13:53:00

Labour's failure in the teaching of science

Policy Exchange

"Science Fiction? Uncovering the real level of science skills at school and university"(PDF)

Author: Anna Fazackerley and Tom Richmond

Publication date: 28 September 2009

This report highlights the failure of the Labour Government to improve standards in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and the negative impact it is having for employers in the UK. According to a recent CBI survey 92% of firms across all sectors require people with STEM skills but 59% are experiencing problems locating these people. The report criticises a lowering of standards in STEM subjects which have allowed the Government to make bold claims but done little to prepare STEM graduates for the world of work.  

21 Sep 2009 10:04:00

Reshaping pensions policy following the banking crisis


"Don't let this crisis go to waste - A simple and affordable way of increasing retirement income" (PDF)

Author: Michael Johnson

Publication date: 21 September 2009

This report details some new proposals in order to create a fairer state pension system. The author acknowledges that the expectation of a comfortable and lengthy retirement funded by the State is now obsolete and there has to be more reliance on personal savings. One of the proposals advocated in this paper is increasing the state pension ten years after the onset of the State Pension Age. The report also looks into ways of prioritising support for those pensioners on low incomes.

18 Aug 2009 16:59:00

A better deal for part-time students

Policy Exchange

"Educating Rita - a model to address inadequate state support for part-time students" (PDF)

Authors: Anna Fazackerley, Professor Claire Callendar, Julian Chant and David Wilkinson

Publication date: 18 August 2009

The report calls for a better financial settlement for the third of undergraduates who are part-time students. The authors are critical of the fact that part-time students have to pay their fees upfront and 90% receive no financial help from the Government in contrast to full-time students. The report makes the point that if part-time students did receive some financial support then some full-time students might be persuaded to go part-time and have a job as well thus helping the economy. The report recommends bringing part-time students' eligibility for a partial tuition fee grant into line with full-time students and syphoning off funding from the Government's £150million University Challenge scheme.

3 Aug 2009 11:01:00

How to simplify the benefits system


"Benefit simplification - how and why it must be done" (PDF)

Author: David Martin

Publication date: 3 August 2009

The report calls for an integrated system of administering benefits to remove complexity and inefficiency in the benefits system. The author argues that creating a single agency to administer benefits will assist those who are genuinely entitled to receive benefits by increasing transparency and reduce the scope for benefit fraud.

16 Mar 2009 16:15:00

Working time directive unworkable

Open Europe

"Time's Up - The case against the EU's 48 hour working week" (PDF)

Author: Open Europe

Publication date: 16 March 2009

A fierce critique of the EU's plans to make it illegal for UK citizens to work longer than 48 hours per week by way of the proposed Working Time Directive. The report argues that such a limitation would be completely impractical for a whole host of occupations (including front-line public servants) and would equally invade the liberty of those who wish to work longer hours to provide more money for their families. The report estimates a potential cost to the UK economy of between £9.2billion and £11.9billion if the Directive is implemented and questions the logic of passing such legislation particularly in the middle of a global recession.