Author Archives: Kayte Lawton

The Independent View: Is the Coalition is doing enough to help Britain’s couple families?

The Chancellor looks set to announce a new tax break for married couples in next month’s Autumn Statement, while universal credit continues its slow and increasingly painful roll out. Both are heralded by the Coalition as flagship policies to support families by raising incomes, helping more parents into work and promoting stable family life. In practice, neither will provide the help that Britain’s couple families need to cope with the growing pressures of time and money that push too many into poverty and put enormous strain on relationships.

A tax break for married couples has long been a core demand of …

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The Independent View: Lib Dems should look beyond the tax system to help low-to-middle income families

The Liberal Democrat conference has seen the party reiterate its commitment to using increases in the income tax personal allowance to raise the incomes of low-to-middle income families. Senior party figures have used conference to stress their long-term ambition to work towards an allowance of £12,500, roughly equivalent to the earnings of a full-time worker on the minimum wage.

This would be a significant tax cut that the Institute for Public Policy Research estimates would cost around £24 billion if implemented today. The Liberal Democrats argue that raising the allowance demonstrates ‘fairness’ by removing many low wage workers from income …

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The Independent View: Public support action on excessive pay gap

The clamour for action on excessive pay is growing, not least from some of our biggest business names. Sir Stuart Rose, of Marks and Spencer, recently suggested that the gap between CEO pay and the wages of ordinary workers might have got out of control, while the newly appointed President of the CBI, Sir Roger Carr, this week described ‘rewards for failure’ as “unforgivable”.

Yet the idea that very high salaries can be justified as long as they are deserved is called into question by research from the High Pay Commission, which found that executive pay has grown by 7 per cent a year in real terms over the last 10 years, compared to annual average real growth of just 0.8 per cent between 1949 and 1979. Researchers can find no evidence that UK firms have done better over the last 10 years than in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Nor is there any evidence that senior executives are significantly more mobile than ordinary workers or modern firms more complex to run, as many supporters of the rapid increase in top pay argue.

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