Centre for Research in Social Policy

School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences


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London rents might be ‘falling’ for some, but a minimum decent standard of living still costs substantially more in the capital

Over the past few years, good news about housing, particularly the cost of renting in the private sector, has been in short supply. So it is little surprise that recent figures compiled by Countrywide, suggesting a fall in private rents across the UK, with a significant fall in the capital, were seized upon as representing […]

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“Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living, barely getting by …”

Record rates of employment and small increases in pay have not halted the increase in the number of those in work living on incomes below what they need, particularly working families with children. In recent years the phrase ‘hard-working families’ has figured prominently both in defining and defending ‘difficult’ policy decisions. The programme of welfare […]

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The living wage is a good start, but for many families and individuals living in Birmingham challenges remain

Since Birmingham City Council adopted the living wage in July 2012, public sector workers in the city have seen a noticeable decrease in their risk of being paid below the living wage, but many working within the private sector continue to experience low pay and the challenges that this brings. Birmingham, as with other parts […]

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4 in 10 people living in households with children in London can’t afford a minimum standard of living

Over the past couple of years there have been lots of stories of families – and 30-somethings more generally – leaving London and moving to the other big cities in the UK because of the high cost of living London.  Our new research sheds light on the pressures felt by families living in the capital. […]

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“For there is in London all that life can afford” (Samuel Johnson) … if you can afford London life.

While many costs associated with living in London are similar to the rest of the UK, a minimum decent standard of living is substantially more expensive in the capital. There is a long held view that life costs more in London. This view is not just confined to the usual suspects of housing, childcare and […]

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The economy may have turned the corner, but many are still struggling to make ends meet

Despite signs of economic recovery, nearly four in ten families with children are living on incomes below what they need and making up lost ground is going to take time. Recent weeks and months have seen a growing assertion that following a long period of decline, we might just have turned a corner and 2015 […]

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Housing and hardship in Leicester

Falling levels of housing support are putting a small but significant proportion of households in Leicester at risk of serious hardship with little or no prospect of an improvement in circumstances in the near future. There is little doubt that life has become more and more difficult for many households over the past few years.  […]

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