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New Economics Foundation welcomes new executive pay plans as “vital first step”

Today the government announced a package of corporate governance reforms to address workplace inequality and enhance the public’s trust in business. [1] Responding to the proposals, Annie Quick, Subject Lead for Inequality at the New Economics Foundation said: “Today’s announcement on corporate governance is a vital first step on the path to a better workplace. We cannot act when we don’t have all the facts. That’s why the Government’s measures to force firms to...

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Diesel scrappage: don’t hold your breath

This week, car giant Ford announced a new scrappage scheme for old diesel cars. They’re offering at least £2,000 for the trade in of a pre-2010 motor (any brand) for a new one – as long as it’s made by Ford, obviously. This is smart PR for the UK’s leading car maker – something that it – and the industry it leads – desperately need. But are scrappage schemes really the answer to the UK’s diesel crisis? If you’re a car company that makes a lot of diesel cars,...

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Social Care as a Local Economic Solution for the West Midlands

You don’t need to be an expert in adult social care to know that it’s in deep trouble. High-profile, distressing exposes like that from Panorama reveal a sector on the verge of –perhaps already in – full-blown crisis. People are living longer. In the UK the number of people over the age of 85 is expected to double by 2030. Yet thanks to Government cuts and the dysfunctionality of our care system, council spending on adult social care in England fell 8% in real...

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New research: More than half of self-employed not earning a decent living

Two in five of the UK workforce still in ‘bad jobs,’ according to NEF analysis Job quality is worse for the self-employed, where low income is rife Buoyant employment figures obscure reality as insecure and underpaid workforce close to breaking point More than half of all self-employed people are failing to earn a decent living, according to new research by the New Economics Foundation. The research, based on data from the ONS Labour Force Survey and the DWP...

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The rise of ‘bad jobs’

Look at recent unemployment figures, and you may think all is plain sailing in the world of work. But look a little closer and the reality starts to come into focus. Two in every five people employed in the UK are in ‘bad jobs’ — work which doesn’t provide a secure, living wage. This figure includes more than half of all self-employed people who are failing to earn a decent living, according to new research by the New Economics Foundation. Our latest research...

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The state of the planet is scary – but that’s just the start

This piece first appeared at Business Green and is reproduced here with permission. Last week marked Earth Overshoot Day. August 2 was 2017’s date roughly calculated as when we’ve started to cause more impact on the ecosystem than it can safely absorb, and used more of its resources than it can comfortably renew. That’s a global figure, by the way: rich countries’ individual overshoot days are much earlier (May 4 for the UK). Overshoot Day’s scary. It keeps...

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Lancashire: From the fracking frontline

We’ve written about communities standing up to fracking giants before. Last week we went to see for ourselves what was happening on the frontline. Over the past six years, Lancashire has become the unlikely epicentre of the fight against fracking. Exploratory drilling caused two earthquakes in the area in 2011, which led to a year-long ban on fracking in the UK. This ban was overturned, however, and fracking giants Cuadrilla, have been hell bent on getting drills...

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Weekly Economics Podcast: Will selling off public land make the housing crisis worse?

The housing crisis is a hot topic at the moment. We often talk about who can buy, sell and rent houses – and how much they cost – but we rarely talk about the land beneath them. Lots of land in the UK is owned by the government and local authorities – public land. But a load of it is being sold off, from old hospitals to sites owned by the Ministry of Defence. The government says that we should sell it to developers to build houses on to deal with the housing...

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We must listen to those at the sharp end of the debt crisis

Abdul became an Uber driver after losing his job in the financial crash. He quickly found himself in financial difficulty, as the cost of renting the car to do his job combined with an unexpected fall in the number of driving jobs he was able to take. After accepting a welcome offer of a credit card, Abdul eventually found himself in £25,000 of debt. He sought debt advice, and the interest charges on Abdul’s repayments were frozen – but now he expects to be...

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Is shareholder action winning on high pay?

The High Pay Centre’s annual survey of FTSE 100 chief exec pay packages was released today. In amongst its usual exposure of the jaw-dropping salaries of the top earners, it contained a rare piece of good news: senior pay has dropped to below 2014 levels. The last year has seen a number of FTSE 100 companies U-turn on senior pay. And that’s at least in part because of pressure from shareholders voting to curb runaway pay packets. According to figures compiled for...

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