Economics & Social Policy Blogs

Universal Credit: Good Start, More Needs to be Done

Universal Credit: Good Start, More Needs to be Done

Matthew Oakley, Head of Economics & Social Policy at Policy Exchange, argues that welfare reforms to date should mark the start of what should be a decade of welfare reform, with future reforms focusing on individual responsibilities and on improving state support.

Worse-off areas need private sector growth and jobs

Worse-off areas need private sector growth and jobs

Matthew Oakley, Policy Exchange’s Head of Economics & Social Policy, responds in a letter to The Financial Times to a recent article in the paper on the impact of April’s changes to welfare which showed Northern cities being most affected by the cuts. Matthew pointed out that areas with the highest unemployment will naturally see higher benefit cuts, and stressed that what worse-off areas really need is private sector jobs and growth.

Jobcentre Plus has become a revolving door

Jobcentre Plus has become a revolving door

Policy Exchange’s Ed Holmes, Senior Research Fellow for Economics & Social Policy, and Matthew Oakley, Head of Economics & Social Policy, set out why Jobcentre Plus needs to undergo serious reforms. They argue that currently only half of claimants leaving jobseeker’s allowance are still in work eight months later, stressing that Jobcentre Plus does not go far enough in getting people into long-term employment.

Why the Government is right to take on welfare reform

Why the Government is right to take on welfare reform

Matthew Oakley, Policy Exchange’s Head of Economics & Social Policy, sets out why the government is right to take on welfare reform. Matthew argues that we are currently spending nearly £100 billion on working age benefits, and that just a 5% reduction could pay for four new runways at Heathrow over two years and other key projects such as new hospitals and schools.

David Cameron needs a more radical remedy for our economic ills

David Cameron needs a more radical remedy for our economic ills

Matthew Oakley, Policy Exchange’s Head of Economics & Social Policy, argues that David Cameron’s recent announcement that he plans to stick to the government’s current deficit commitments are right, but said the Prime Minister needs to adopt a more radical approach to solving the UK’s economic problems, making suggestions in the areas of housing and job creation.

Osborne should announce local pay bargaining in the Budget

Osborne should announce local pay bargaining in the Budget

Nick Faith, Policy Exchange’s Director of Communications, calls on George Osborne to introduce a system of local pay bargaining for public sector employees in his upcoming budget. Nick cites findings from report Local Pay, Local Growththat the money saved on such a system could be reinvested in local job creation and infrastructure projects, creating at least 288,000 jobs outside London and the South East.

Work in progress

Work in progress

Ed Holmes, Policy Exchange’s Senior Research Fellow in Economics & Social Policy, highlights the problems with the Work Programme in a letter to The Guardian. Ed says the Programme needs to undergo reforms to ensure the needs of hard-to-help groups of unemployed are assessed as best as possible.

Welfare-to-work schemes will continue, despite appeal court ruling

Welfare-to-work schemes will continue, despite appeal court ruling

Matthew Oakley, Policy Exchange’s Head of Economics & Social Policy, analyses the likely impact of the ruling on the recent Reilly workfare case. Oakley argues that the ruling will have little effect, being based only on a technical issue that will soon be rectified, leaving the government’s back-to-work schemes intact.

Child poverty – Government should focus on outcomes as well as incomes

Child poverty – Government should focus on outcomes as well as incomes

Matthew Oakley, Head of Policy Exchange’s Economics & Social Policy unit, sets out the importance of an effective measure of child poverty, highlighting the findings of recent report Outcomes, Not Just Incomes which revealed that 2.3 million children are in material poverty but do not come under the current government measure of child poverty.

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