The Week, 28 October 2016

28 October 2016

GDP growth figures this week revealed that the UK grew at 0.5 per cent during the third quarter of the year. The lowest earners will take a larger share of this pie, as the National Living Wage helped raise incomes. Yet, there is still a long way to go until those from disadvantaged backgrounds benefit from equal employment opportunities, as the Reformers of the Week recognise.

Alexander Hitchcock, Researcher

Reformers of the week

The Social Mobility Commission and the Social Mobility Foundation for designing an index to assess and rank companies’ recruitment of candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Good week for…

Efficient policymaking

On Sunday, it was reported that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is considering scrapping the Autumn Statement by making tax and spending decisions once a year in the spring Budget.

Automation of public-sector jobs

On Tuesday, research by Deloitte concluded that 850,000 public-sector jobs could be automated by 2030.

Wage growth for low earners

On Wednesday, ONS figures revealed that Britain’s lowest-paid employees received the biggest pay rise for 20 years as a result of the increased National Living Wage.

Bad week for…

Increasing teacher pay

On Wednesday, the Education Secretary, the Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, argued there was a “strong case” to cap teacher pay rises at an average of 1 per cent next year.

Equal pay

On Thursday, it was revealed that women earn 9.4 per cent less than men in full-time hourly pay.

Academies

On Thursday, it was announced that the Government will abandon the mandatory academisation of under-performing schools.

Quotes of the week

“Many top firms are doing excellent work in opening their doors to people from all social backgrounds. We want the index to herald a step change towards improving social mobility by encouraging many more employers to compete to recruit, and keep, the best and brightest candidates.”

Rt Hon Alan Milburn, the Government’s social-mobility tsar, in City A.M. on Monday

“The size of the new Work and Health Programme means only one in eight disabled people who want to work will have specialist help to do so. As a society, we have an obligation to ensure appropriate support is available and today’s report shows that we are in danger of failing disabled people and their families.”

Kirsty McHugh, chief executive of the Employment Related Services Association, in the Guardian on Saturday

Reform‘s week

On Monday, Alexander Hitchcock, Researcher at Reform, wrote an article in Public Finance, in which he argued that the success of the new Work and Health Programme will be undermined by a lack of competition for contracts.

The Reformer blog

On Wednesday, William Mosseri-Marlio, Senior Research at Reform, wrote an interactive blog in which he argued that the Government’s triple-lock pension policy is financially unsustainable.

On Friday, Ben Dobson, Researcher at Reform, wrote a blog arguing that the Government should use an accelerator payment model for the forthcoming Work and Health programme despite the reduction in funding on legacy programmes.

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