Families and social policy

Families and social policy





Standing alone? Self-employment for those on low income

David Kirkby

February 2016

Rises in the number of individuals self-employed since 2008 have been accompanied by sharp falls in earnings. With average earnings from self-employment now well below average earnings for employees, understanding the experiences and challenges facing self-employed individuals on low income is vital. This report offers new evidence on these experiences and challenges and makes a number of policy recommendations to support this group more effectively.

Click here to download the report as a .pdf

Reducing poverty by promoting more diverse social networks for disadvantaged people from ethnic minority groups

Ryan Shorthouse

October 2015

There is growing evidence that an individual’s relationships – their ‘social capital’ – can help reduce poverty. For disadvantaged people from ethnic minority backgrounds, there is also evidence of a limited but significant relationship between less diverse social networks and poverty. This report makes four policy suggestions to help to strengthen and widen the social networks of disadvantaged people from ethnic minority groups.

Click here to download the report as a .pdf

The generation game: spending priorities for an ageing society

Ryan Shorthouse, Andrew Harrop and Anthony Rowlands

September 2015

Published with the Fabian Society and CentreForum, this collection of essays explores spending priorities for an ageing population.

We need to find the fairest and most sustainable funding settlement as the country adapts to demographic change. This collection includes contributions from George Freeman MP, The Rt Hon Lord David Willetts, Dr John Pugh MP, Debbie Abrahams MP, Claudia Wood, Ryan Shorthouse and many more.

Click here to download the essay collection as a .pdf 

A future without poverty

Ryan Shorthouse and Andrew Harrop

March 2015

This collection of essays, published with the Fabian Society, was launched at a major cross-party conference which we hosted.

Bucking the trend of escalating political mudslinging, the collection creates a cross-party space for people from different political, professional and social backgrounds to come together to share their experiences and find common solutions to poverty.  This pamphlet includes contributions from Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, Kate Green MP, Philip Collins (The Times), Peter Franklin (ConservativeHome), Ryan Shorthouse (Bright Blue), Alison Garnham (CPAG) and many more.

click here to download the essay collection as a .pdf

Give and Take

Ryan Shorthouse and David Kirkby

November 2014

Our welfare system is important for supporting the vulnerable and impoverished. But public support for the welfare state is low, especially amongst conservatives. To ensure the survival and success of our welfare system, a richer understanding is required of the principles individuals want it to enshrine and their views of where the existing system falls short.

This report outlines in detail how conservatives think of welfare. Interrelated themes are unearthed relating to benefit claimants, the purpose of welfare and sources of welfare. Drawing on these themes, original welfare reforms are proposed, designed to boost the effectiveness of - and public support for – the welfare system.

click here to download the report as a .pdf



A woman's world?

Ryan Shorthouse

December 2010

Women in Britain today have more opportunities than ever, thanks to the opening up of the education system and the labour market. We should, undoubtedly, celebrate the improved status of women and welcome the influence women have had on our society. Problems persist, however: the gender pay gap, poverty, domestic violence, teenage pregnancy, and - abroad - unimaginable crimes. This third edition of The Progressive Conscience includes articles penned for us by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Mary Ann Sieghart, Dr Samantha Callan, Dr Katherine Rake, and many others.

Click here to download the magazine as a .pdf

Clash of the generations

Ryan Shorthouse

March 2010

Many young people today are voiceless. They need to start talking. Shouting, even. Younger workers have been hit the worse during the recession. Over the past few decades, a more flexible labour market has made youth employment less stable and earnings have declined relative to older workers. Getting on the property ladder remains a distant dream. Assets and wealth have become increasingly concentrated higher up theage scale. The first edition of The Progressive Conscience explores the "Clash of the Generations", with contributions from David Willetts MP, Rafael Behr, Matthew Taylor, Tim Montgomerie, Anushka Asthana and many others.

Click here to download the magazine as a .pdf

Bright Blue combines robust research and a modern, progressive perspective to produce some of the most refreshing and interesting work currently being conducted. 

Prof Tim Bale, Chair of Politics, Queen Mary University of London

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