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Economics & Social Policy Publications
Taxing Jobs argues that because pay and productivity have remained strongly linked over the course of the recession, wages will begin to rise and productivity will improve as employers take on more staff. Providing a boost to the labour market in the form of a cut to the payroll tax for businesses would speed up the rate at which companies take on more staff. This would reduce unemployment more quickly and force employers to improve productivity and therefore pay among their workforces.
Some 48,530 children are now in a care system that is letting many of them down and is in radical need of reform.Fostering Aspirations makes a number of recommendations to increase the number of carers and improve the quality of care children receive.
Parenting Alone calls for more support to help lone parents with young children into work. The report finds although the number of lone parents working is higher than in the 1990s, 650,000 – or 1 in 3 – are still unemployed. It recommends more intensive support for lone parents when their youngest child is 3 or 4 and measures to stabilise the income of those moving from benefits into work or to higher paid work.
Public sector workers in the North East, Merseyside and South West of England earn as much as £3,200 more than their equivalents in the private sector. The variation in pay has arisen because of the system of national pay bargaining, which means that workers are paid the same amount regardless of where they live. The paper recommends abolishing national pay deals and moving to a system which can reflect local labour markets and reward performance.
Cultures of Dependency says that in the future employment support must better understand the pressures that families, social networks and communities put on unemployed people. Devolving power and money would allow individual Jobcentres to pilot new innovative ways of delivering local personalised support to help people find a job. Support could also be targeted at whole families, peer groups or estates in order to tackle serious barriers to work like a poor work ethic or family problems.
Capping Welfare argues that post 2015, cutting Winter Fuel Payments or TV licences for pensioners is ‘simply tinkering around the edges’. Cuts to these pensioner perks would save at most £3 billion even if there were completely removed. In contrast, the State pension costs are set to rise by some £40 billion in today’s terms the next 50 years. This would mean younger generations saddled with enormous financial burdens.
The Work Programme is not doing enough to help those furthest away from the labour market. Route2Work says that paying private and voluntary providers to help people back into work is a sensible approach to reducing unemployment. However, there needs to be a new complementary scheme that encourages and rewards charities, social enterprises and small-scale providers to help the most vulnerable people.
Better Public Services: A Roadmap for Revolution, calls for a number of changes in the way services are delivered which puts power firmly in the hands of the public.