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Economics & Social Policy Publications
The Central Contradiction of Capitalism? A collection of essays on Capital in the Twenty-First CenturySteve Hughes
This essay collection collates some of the most thought provoking assessments of Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, and publishes some new ones for the first time.
The Economics Manifesto says that the next government should seek to create a capital-owning democracy for all, so that each and every person in the UK can benefit from economic growth. The report proposes mass distribution of RBS and Lloyds’ shares, compulsory savings, the introduction of a Bonus Isa and a new generation of private sector Premium Bonds.
The Welfare Manifesto shows how to make the welfare system fit for the 21st Century. The report sets out principles to be make the system simpler, more effective, fairer, more affordable, and reward contribution.
Bonus ISAs proposes a new scheme to give people more flexibility to build up their tax-free savings pots during the course of a lifetime. The “Bonus ISA” would be offered to anybody who is unable to use their full annual tax-free savings allowance (currently set at £15,000). People would be given the power to roll over any unused portions of their existing ISA allowances into their Bonus ISA account.
Money for Nothing argues that new fiscal rules should bind future governments to a spending envelope based on reducing the UK’s debt-GDP ratio to a sustainable level. The report highlights the scale of the challenge and argues that strict penalties must be put in place to ensure that politicians stay within the rules, including automatic nominal freezes to public sector pay, the state pension and benefit payments.
Making Contributions Count proposes a new unemployment insurance scheme which will put personal contribution at the heart of the welfare system. The scheme would see people who have worked hard and paid their taxes able to draw from a contributory pot to provide a greater level of out of work support if they need it. Upon retirement, the contributions would be released as part of an individual’s pension package, which could see people who worked all their lives receiving in excess of £10,000.
Work 2.0 provides a blueprint for how the Work Programme – the government’s flagship welfare-to-work policy – should be improved, including ideas on how to better assess jobseeker needs, how to integrate the Programme into the structures of Universal Credit, and how to better recognise local labour market conditions.
Parks and other urban green spaces are highly important to the social and economic wellbeing of the country. However, as local authority budgets have been squeezed, public funding of parks and open spaces has declined. In light of this, Green Society suggests a number of innovative ways to protect and improve the UK’s urban green spaces including the idea of a council tax rebate for local residents who volunteer to maintain nearby green spaces.
By 2050, global output is projected to treble, with two-thirds of growth coming from emerging economies. The developed world will have to change radically if it is to adapt to this new environment successfully. To realise the opportunities of the next four decades successfully – for the developing world to adapt to dramatic social and economic changes, and for the developed world to face its structural, fiscal and demographic challenges and ‘pay its way’ in the years ahead, it is vital that these long-term issues are addressed.