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October 2020 Newsletter

20 Oct 2020

Tackling money problems and improving living standards covers a wide range of issues. This is reflected in the reports we have published this autumn, covering topics ranging from young adults living at home to work during the pandemic.

New reports

Boomerang Generation 

News that more young adults are living with their parents will not come as a surprise to anyone. However, we’ve not had a great deal of insight about this group. Is it purely driven by house prices? Which groups, communities and regions are most affected? What’s the impact on people’s finances?

This month we published a new report by Loughborough University’s Centre for Research in Social Policy, which is examining this new social trend. It found over six in ten single 20-34-year-olds without children now live with their parents (a total of 3.5m people in the UK). This trend is reflected across the income spectrum. However, families with the least resources are finding themselves penalised, parents’ benefit payments are reduced if their adult children live at home, squeezing living standards. In addition, young people have been hardest hit by increased unemployment as a result of the pandemic, and early evidence suggests there is a further increase in the numbers moving back in with their parents.

The team from Loughborough are now undertaking in-depth interviews with families in this situation, and will publish a final report in spring 2021.

Read the Guardian’s take on the report.

Taxing Questions

In September, we published findings from Demos on public attitudes towards taxation. The resulting report was based on deliberative workshops with the public to gain a better insight on how they viewed taxation, their support for specific tax policies and changes, and their rationale for such changes. The groups worked over a series of sessions, using an online tax calculator to assess what impact their policy changes would have for different income groups. The proposed changes were then tested with a wider group using opinion polling.

The research found significant support for tax reform, including to capital gains, pension tax reliefs, self-employment and wealth taxes. There was a desire for everyone to pay something but this should be based on the ability to pay.

It’s a difficult job for the Chancellor, do you think you could do better? Demos have produced a tax calculator so you can see if your ideas would raise enough.

Coronavirus pandemic

Is it possible to do a newsletter without mentioning the C word? For those who have not had their fill of Covid-related news, the Institute for Employment Studies published a report on how the coronavirus pandemic is effecting people in low-income households. Actually do have a read, it’s well worth your time as it found some serious problems going on behind the scenes. Staff have had to leave jobs due to management failing to provide adequate protection against the threat of Covid-19.  The research also found no evidence of private sector employers supplementing staff wages under furlough (in low paying sectors) – a cornerstone of the chancellor’s recently announced Job Support Scheme.

Read more here.

New Grants

We are pleased to announce new grants to Women’s Budget Group, University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre and Justice. Our next deadline to apply for grants is February 2021 but we recommend you get in touch with us well before then if you would like to discuss an idea you have which we might be able to fund.