On Question Time last week, the issue of the restriction of television licences to over-75s was raised. Nobody spoke in favour of the decision. This is a triumph of special interests over rationality or justice – a problem that was predicted to occur as the population ages in various IEA publications. Let us put aside ... Continue reading
Continued from Part 2... Alston makes many claims about living standards. Some turn out to be without foundation and based on repeating what advocates have told him. For instance, Alston writes: “It is hardly surprising that civil society has reported unheard-of levels of loneliness and isolation, prompting the Government to appoint a Minister for Suicide ... Continue reading
Continued from Part 1… Alston points to rising food insecurity and calls for the government to “systematically measure food security”. However, he ignores the only time-series data we have on this. Eurostat surveys ask respondents if they are unable to afford a meal with meat, chicken, fish or a vegetarian equivalent every second day. It ... Continue reading
The United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty, Philip Alston, recently published his second and final report on poverty in the United Kingdom. He offers up a bleak picture, with rising levels of poverty, particularly among children, spelling out “a social calamity and an economic disaster rolled into one”. The social fabric is unravelling and ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the former King of Bhutan, declared in 1972 that “gross national happiness (GNH) is more important than gross national product”. The Centre for Bhutan Studies dutifully constructed a survey-based measure of GNH, whose increase is now the goal of Bhutan’s five-year plans. Wangchuckism has slowly caught on outside of the happy Kingdom. ... Continue reading

Len Shackleton quoted in The Telegraph

Len Shackleton, Institute of Economic Affairs' Research Fellow, is quoted in The Telegraph on the subject of increasing minimum and living wages. He warns that pushing up pay for lower paid workers does not “really impact a great deal on poverty”. “Most people in poverty are either not working or only working part time and ... Continue reading

The IEA reacts to Oxfam's inequality report

Commenting on Oxfam's Its Public Good or Private Wealth? report on inequality, Associate Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs Kate Andrews said:  "Oxfam's findings misrepresent poverty and how it is most commonly understood. Once again, the charity has rolled out headlines that fly in the face of everything else we know about human progress and income improvements. "Despite being a ... Continue reading
Lifestyle Economics

Chris Snowdon appears on BBC Radio 5

Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, went on the Afternoon Edition with Nihal Arthanayake on BBC Radio 5, alongside Helen Barnard of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, to talk about poverty in the UK. Chris said; "There is a very serious cost of living crisis in this country for which the ... Continue reading

Len Shackleton talks to BBC Radio Kent

Len Shackleton, Editorial and Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs, appeared on BBC Radio Kent this morning to talk about the rise in the use of food banks since the start of Universal Credit. Len said; "the government needs to improve the speed and the dispatch with which it rolls out this [new benefits] ... Continue reading
Were it not for Brexit, the furore over the roll-out of Universal Credit would surely be dominating the headlines on a daily basis. The planned changes will eventually determine the benefits received by around 7 million households, including many of the most vulnerable in society, and affect more than £60 billion a year in public ... Continue reading