Weekly Round up 23/03/2012

Apologies for missing the weekly round-up last week but time was a bit tight and basically everyone was talking about what might happen in the Budget so we thought it might be better to leave it and let everyone talk about what did happen in the budget before posting again……

News in Brief

Budget 

It’s been covered in great detail elsewhere so we won’t spend too long on the Budget here. But, JRF produced a very good briefing on what the budget meant for child poverty and IPPR looked at the impact of the budget on the North.

The Guardian asked a panel of experts, inclduing Alison Garnham, Chief Exec of CPAG. for their views and The IFS produced a good summary of the whole thing in 13 slides. The figure below is taken from the chapter on the impact on Households within the Budget document (available here), which shows that the poorest quintile of households suffered the most, with exception of the richest quintile

Regional Pay was a Budget issue that concerned people in the North East and The Journal and the Shields Gazette and the Sunderland Echo all covered this issue from a North East perspective, The Guardian suggested it could lead to regional shortages of teachers and the TUC launched a Pay Fair campaign on Twitter

Employment

JRF and Women Like Us produced a very interesting piece of work on the benefits (and challenges) of building a sustainable quality part-time recruitment marketwhile, coincidentally, Salon published a piece by Sara Robinson which suggested that 150 years of research proves that long hours at work kill profits, productivity and employees.

The TUC published their latest Employment Blackspots and the North East was , unfortunately, well represented. Middlebrough was the second hardest place to get a job with approximately 24 claimants for every vacancy and threee other Local Authorities in the North East in the top 10 for youth unemployment.

Education – pupil premium

The Guardian published some data obtained by David Lammy MP that suggested that the Pupil Premium was ending up in places where it might be hard to argue it was most needed. The Full Fact website checked out this assertion a few weeks ago….

General comment

Lots of comment this week to distract you from the Budget….

Fraser Nelson argued in The Telegraph that ‘At the heart of the Child Poverty Act lies an agenda which has arguably done more damage to Britain’s social fabric than any idea in modern history’ 

David Brady argued for a wider view of the welfare state in The Guardian, who also featured articles on ‘the working poor’ in the UK today and the supposed ‘culture of poverty’ in the US – all worth reading.

The Centre for Research on Families and Relationships published a report on Parenting on a Low Income and The Nuffield Foundation published a report exploring the role of informal childcare in the UK.

Graphics of the week

An excellent graph from the New Economics Foundation who called the the budget one ‘for the 1%’. The graph, which will get bigger if you click on it, suggests that it is not the size of our public sector debt that should be the primary concern of our nation….

Best wishes,

Steve

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