Web links for 21st November 2011
A new study from insurers Aviva shows that 52% of workers could survive financially for only 3months on statutory sick pay, 30% say they would survive for less than a month. This is despite the fact that 26% think SSP is “considerably” higher than it actually is – so much for it’s being ‘over-generous’!
The four Children’s Commissioners from the nations of the UK mark the International Day of the Child by publishing their midterm report on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Commissioners may be independent, but they are publicly-funded, and their language about child poverty and the Welfare Reform Bill is remarkable. In their last report they we said it was unacceptable for the UK to have one child in three in relative poverty. They add: “this figure has not changed. In fact, there is now a very real danger that this figure will increase. The changes being implemented as a result of the Welfare Reform Bill … have the potential to drive more vulnerable children, young people and their families into poverty. We therefore strongly urge the UK Government to reconsider the impact of these reforms.”
A new Resolution Foundation study, by Prof Lane Kenworthy. Using data from the Luxembourg Income Study, Kenworthy looks at what distinguishes the countries where people on low incomes have benefited from GDP growth from those countries where this has not happened. He makes an important discovery: where transfers have risen in line with GDP, people on low incomes have benefited from the overall increase in swealth. Where this hasn’t happened they haven’t. For people in the next highest group (‘modest’ incomes) improvements in earnings have been more important, but transfers have still been important. It’s harder to say whether increasing hours or higher hourly rates have been more important in raising wages. In the UK both happened; the introduction of the minimum wage was important.