IPPR calls for ‘fundamental reform’ of UK economy

Think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has called for a radical overhaul of the UK economy, stating that it ‘does not work well’ for most people.

A poll conducted by Sky Data on behalf of the IPPR revealed that 49% of respondents would describe the way that Britain’s economy operates as ‘unfair to some degree’. Just 22% believe that the way the economy works is fair.

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The poll also revealed that 80% of those surveyed support ‘greater regulation’ of major digital companies; would welcome the introduction of a new corporation tax on multinational companies; and would like to see the National Living Wage (NLW) rise from its current level of £7.83 per hour to £8.75 an hour, to bring the NLW in line with the current Real Living Wage.

An additional 50% of individuals would support asking the Bank of England to ‘control house price inflation’, and advocate raising taxes on income from wealth to match taxes on income from work.

Commenting on the findings, Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), said: ‘It’s time for a once-in-a-generation rethink of our approach to the economy. Working people have had enough of stagnating living standards and massive inequality.

‘A better deal for working people is possible, and will allow us to build a stronger, fairer economy.’

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Think tank calls for major reform of buy-to-let market

The popularity of the buy-to-let market is making it difficult for many people, including first-time buyers and families, to become home owners, according to a report by thinktank Onward.

Although the government has curbed tax relief on mortgage interest and maintenance for landlords, the think tank believes that this is not enough and is calling on the government to intervene by reducing the number of tax breaks available to landlords and reforming the planning system in favour of community-led developments.

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MP Neil O’Brien, author of the report said: ‘We need to change the balance between the rented sector and home ownership. We should protect existing landlords but discourage more people from investing in rental property, because the buy-to-let boom has bid up prices and reduced homeownership among younger people.’

The report suggests that local councils should have more power to shape and create new settlements with services and links to public transport, in line with other European countries.

Meanwhile, a separate report has suggested that single first-time buyers in England and Wales will take over 10 years to build up a deposit of 15% on their first home. For couples, the amount of time it takes to save up for the same deposit would be halved, at five years.

This does vary depending on location, income and outgoings, with single homebuyers in London taking an average of 17 years to save up for a 15% deposit, while those in the North East take around six years.