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Keeping up or falling behind? The impact of benefit and tax uprating on incomes and poverty

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  • Sutherland, Holly
  • Hancock, Ruth
  • Hills, John
  • Zantomio, Francesca

Abstract

Each year, the Government decides how much to raise benefits and tax allowances. In the UK the basis for these upratings is rarely debated, yet has major long-term consequences for the relative living standards of different groups as well as for the public finances. This paper considers the medium term implications of present uprating policies which vary across parameters of the tax-benefit system. Continuing for 20 years, other things staying the same, would result in a near doubling of the child poverty rate alongside a substantial gain to the public finances. At the same time pensioners are largely protected by the earnings indexation of pensioner benefits and, in time, the basic state pension. We show how difficult it will be to meet the UK child poverty targets unless the greater inequality inherent in the current regime for uprating payments and allowances is redressed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series ISER Working Paper Series with number 2008-18.

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Date of creation: 19 May 2008
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Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2008-18

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Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
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Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
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Cited by:
  1. Magda, Iga & Bukowski, Maciej & Buchholz, Sonia & Lewandowski, Piotr & Chrostek, Paweł & Kamińska, Agnieszka & Lis, Maciej & Potoczna, Monika & Myck, Michał & Kundera, Michał & Oczkowska, Monika, 2013. "Employment in Poland 2011 - Poverty and jobs," MPRA Paper 50185, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Olivier Bargain & Mathias Dolls & Herwig Immervoll & Dirk Neumann & Andreas Peichl & Nico Pestel & Sebastian Siegloch, 2011. "Tax policy and income inequality in the U.S., 1978—2009: A decomposition approach," Working Papers 215, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  3. Figari, Francesco & Matsaganis, Manos & Sutherland, Holly, 2011. "The financial well-being of older people in Europe and the redistributive effects of minimum pension schemes," EUROMOD Working Papers EM7/11, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.

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