Riots, redistribution and reparation

Issue 140 (Autumn 2011)

Many people have asked why a tiny proportion of (mostly) young people rioted this summer. They have also questioned the part that rising inequalities could have played in making many people poor and some angry. After all, young adults in Britain today have only ever known a country in which income and wealth have been redistributed from poor to rich – to the detriment of all. How much money could be saved by doing the reverse and redistributing from rich to poor? And how much reparation is required in the long run for a sense eventually to emerge that we are all in this together? Danny Dorling seeks answers from an eclectic mix of sources, including a Chinese daily newspaper, a former London gang member and the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

End of a Faustian pact: workfare and riots

Issue 140 (Autumn 2011)

During the past three decades, Guy Standing argues, politicians struck a Faustian pact. In return for ‘labour market flexibility’, government would top up declining wages through subsidies and tax credits and redirect social protection from an emphasis on social solidarity and social insurance to means-tested social assistance. In the aftermath of rioting, they must now face the following fact: it is the economic policies they have supported that are a major cause of the underlying malaise.

Pre-Budget Report 2009

Issue 214 (February 2010)

David Simmons highlights the most significant announcements relating to welfare benefits and tax credits.

State pension reform from April 2010

Issue 214 (February 2010)

David Simmons summarises the principal and consequential changes.

Ruth Lister (Hon President)

Ruth Lister CBE is Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at Loughborough University and a Labour peer. She is a former Director of the Child Poverty Action Group and is now its Honorary President.