From the TUC

Nicola Smith's Articles

Fair pay matters, but so do tax credits

19 Feb 2014, by in Society & Welfare

With today’s labour market statistics showing that inflation is still rising around twice as fast as average weekly earnings the UK’s household budgets remain tightly squeezed. While stronger pay growth should start to emerge in the months ahead, the real pay gap that has opened up looks set to take years to close. But although…

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Have 200,000 disability claims been ‘thrown out’?

12 Feb 2014, by in Society & Welfare

Today’s Sun proclaims that “200,000 disability claims have been thrown out”, along with what appears to be an exclusive quote from Mike Penning MP, Minister for Disabled People. The story seems to come from this DWP statistical release on Personal Independence Payment Management Information. It shows that by December 220,300 standard PIP claims had been made,…

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Are children being affected by the benefit cap?

06 Feb 2014, by in Society & Welfare

Reading DWP’s press release on their latest benefit cap statistics, you could be forgiven for thinking that this is not a policy which is hitting family incomes. The statement informs readers that: over 1,200 single people without children were capped. Given that the vast majority of people whose housing benefit and tax credit entitlements subject…

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What has the Chancellor announced on the minimum wage?

16 Jan 2014, by in Economics

The Chancellor’s announcement on the minimum wage at 5pm this evening has already been spun as a committment to a £7 an hour minimum. But importantly this is not what has been announced. As I have previously written, the Conservative Party’s recognition of the importance of the NMW, and specifically the Chancellor’s statement today that…

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What will happen to next year’s NMW?

09 Jan 2014, by in Economics

The NMW has been hitting the headlines. As the recovery picks up, with further improvements forecast for next year, there finally appears to be at least some agreement across the political spectrum that change is needed if working people are to secure a fairer share of the rewards of growth. Recent discussion was sparked of by…

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Is the state pension age really going up?

05 Dec 2013, by in Economics

The state pension age is set to rise. In the 2011 Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced that the Government intended to bring forward a previously announced increase in the State Pension age to 67, which would be phased in between 2026 and 2028. The DWP’s timetable for these changes can be found here. Today’s headlines suggested…

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Young people short changed from the Autumn Statement

05 Dec 2013, by in Economics

Youth unemployment remains close to 1 million, and the government’s existing schemes are proving not to work. In particular, the Youth Contract has failed to deliver anywhere near the number of subsidised job places that were promised. So today was a chance for the Chancellor to announce that it was time for young people to…

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