Economics, politics and the reality of the 'squeezed middle'


nflation alone will ensure that the allowance rises to over £11.3k.
Why the Lib Dems' £12,500 tax allowance promise is a smaller pledge than it sounds
By Gavin Kelly - 11 March 9:35

Inflation alone will ensure that the allowance rises to over £11.3k and minimum wage workers will still be paying tax.

It's too early to be pessimistic about boosting living standards
By Gavin Kelly - 11 February 7:00

Despite the recent upturn, the still severely weakened state of our economy means we can't judge what is possible yet.

It's time to be honest about who gains from tax cuts
By Gavin Kelly - 14 October 12:43

Raising the personal allowance won’t give anything to the lowest-earning five million workers.

Voters don’t think politicians have good ideas on living standards: why?
By Gavin Kelly - 21 September 10:36

All are blamed for the squeeze, all are being forced to compete on this terrain and all are struggling to be heard and believed, But the challenge is greatest for Labour.

Planning for a pay rise – could 'forward guidance' work for Britain’s low paid workers?
By Gavin Kelly - 12 September 10:54

The Low Pay Commission should consider setting out how the minimum wage would increase over time if the recovery is sustained.

What does the childcare announcement really tell us?
By Gavin Kelly - 19 March 16:39

By prioritising support for dual-earner couples, the coalition is shunning backbench Tory calls to favour the 'traditional' family.

John Prescott presents his battered 1997 general election pledge card.
The end of pledge-card politics?
By Gavin Kelly - 22 February 10:05

No, but it’s struggling to catch up with the challenge of 2015.

Progressives or regressives? The Lib Dems must choose on childcare policy
By Gavin Kelly - 21 January 10:26

The coalition hasn’t resolved the role the welfare system should play in supporting families with children. The impasse on childcare policy reflects this.

The welfare debate is only just warming up
By Gavin Kelly - 20 December 11:12

Making out that cutting working-age welfare won’t hurt those in work is so divorced from reality that there was always going to be backlash. None of which is to say that Osborne’s gamble won’t pay off.

George Osborne
From striver alert to future cuts: five things to expect from the Autumn Statement
By Gavin Kelly - 04 December 16:08

A few insights from Gavin Kelly to help you navigate Osborne's fiscal arithmetic.

George Osborne
George Osborne cannot possibly know how long austerity will last
By Gavin Kelly - 01 December 23:40

The Chancellor's strategy is based on faulty rules and unproven assumptions about the deficit.

Children playing
The politics of childcare are heating up. Here's why.
By Gavin Kelly - 27 October 23:28

All parties are desperate for measures that will make life easier for hard-pressed families. Affordable childcare is an obvious candidate.

Why it's unlikely benefits increases will be linked to earnings
By Gavin Kelly - 19 September 17:10

Gloomy projections all round.

Jobseekers queue outside a Jobcentre
Young people’s wages: the numbers look scary… because they are scary
By Gavin Kelly - 02 August 22:00

The squeeze on young people's pay is only going to get worse.

Barbara Castle in 1974
We're solving the pay gap - the wrong way
By Gavin Kelly - 30 July 8:49

Time for a better debate about what is happening to the pay of women and men.

Clegg’s new tone on the economy
Clegg’s new tone on the economy
By Gavin Kelly - 23 May 12:16

The coalition needs to work on a climb down.

Living wage – coming to a city near you
By Gavin Kelly - 10 May 16:51

The challenges are real, but the living wage chimes with the public mood.

New Statesman
Too fast, too slow – how the passing of time is shaping politics for Cameron and Miliband
By Gavin Kelly - 08 May 10:28

Labour needs to move at pace if it’s not going to get timed-out.

New Statesman
A tax on aspiration?
By Gavin Kelly - 02 May 11:27

The complex new student support system will result in eye-watering effective tax rates for many low-

Minimum wage.
More than a minimum?
By Gavin Kelly - 17 April 9:22

The minimum wage has fallen back to the level it was at in 2004 – what are the prospects for a futur

All sides are anxious about this Budget
By Gavin Kelly - 21 March 16:45

"In this country we have to look upon budget promises as made of the same stuff as lover's oaths." So said Lord Salisbury, three times Conservative PM, and his words are perhaps more apt than ever given that all the love drain

A tilt towards taxing big wealth?
Osborne opts for the tax politicians love...
By Gavin Kelly - 21 March 10:54

... and economists love to hate.

Is Osborne really about to give people on £100k a tax cut?
By Gavin Kelly - 14 March 16:23

The coalition’s travails over child benefit mean Osborne may revisit his decision to raise the perso

Explaining the child benefit saga
By Gavin Kelly - 06 March 8:06

Do you prioritise fairness for individuals or for households? The coalition is realising you can't d

Why Nick Clegg's still taxing Cameron and Miliband
By Gavin Kelly - 19 February 20:03

The Lib Dem leader and the coming Budget.

The lesson Cameron needs to learn from Birgitte Nyborg
By Gavin Kelly - 09 February 16:16

Our Scandinavian friends have much to teach us.

Waving goodbye to two decades
By Gavin Kelly - 25 January 12:26

Nice or nasty, either way the economic future doesn't look great.

Acting like an opposition while in government can only take you so far
By Gavin Kelly - 18 January 17:14

In a more hostile media climate, the coalition's shifts would be portrayed as crass opportunism and

Labour needs an argument about the state not just the deficit
By Gavin Kelly - 08 January 20:08

It's time to start a blunter conversation about tax and spending choices.