Tackling Inequality: The Role of Trade Unions
Policy paper, 11 September 2018
This paper explores how trade unions can tackle inequality in society, and how deunionisation harms the economy.
Fudging the funding on pay
Liam Kennedy, Michael Davies
Briefing, 6 March 2018
An analysis of departmental spending plans in the UK budget in relation to pay
Labour Market Realities: Workers On The Brink
Policy paper, 21 February 2018
This is the first annual CLASS report on the state of the UK labour market. It aims to move beyond the soundbites of mainstream debates to provide an analysis of the economy rooted in the lived experience of it.
Back to Basics: Progressive Trade Deals
Mark Dearn, Nick Dearden, Jean Blaylock, Sophie Hardefelt, Dr James Harrison
Briefing, 9 February 2018
This expert guide goes back to basics on trade, explaining the dangers of modern trade deals and what we should be looking for in a progressive trade agenda.
Autumn Budget Briefing 2017
Briefing, 21 November 2017
This briefing takes a detailed look at the Autumn Budget 2017.
Fiscal Austerity to Economic Renewal
Prof Malcolm Sawyer
Policy paper, 19 November 2017
Professor Malcolm Sawyer explains why the time has come to move away from austerity to public investment. The responsibility of government is not to balance the budget but to balance the economy by moving it to full employment. This duty should be the guiding principle for macroeconomic policy, but has...
Renewing Public Ownership: Constructing a Democratic Economy in the Twenty-First Century
Professor Andrew Cumbers
Policy paper, 10 October 2017
In this updated report, Professor Andrew Cumbers argues the UK needs to rethink its approach to ownership and control of the economy, developing more democratic institutions and structures that re-distribute economic decision-making power beyond its capture by financial, corporate and foreign interests.
Empty Chair - It’s Time for Workers on Boards
Briefing, 2 October 2017
Using interviews with workers on boards and research that demonstrates best practice, this paper makes the case for the idea of workers on boards to be taken far more seriously at a time when workers voices are in danger of disappearing altogether.
Queen’s Speech 2017 Briefing
Briefing, 21 June 2017
A detailed summary of the most important bills outlined in the Queen's Speech 2017.
The Facts & the Fixes: Housing
Factsheet, 1 June 2017
Access to affordable and good quality housing should be a right, not a luxury. But right now, the UK housing market is failing young people, low and medium earners, and the vulnerable.
The Facts & the Fixes: Immigration
Factsheet, 1 June 2017
The way we talk about immigration has become poisonous. Immigration targets have been set and missed, while many politicians fail to recognise how essential migrants are for our economy and the effect of anti-immigration narratives on our communities.
The Facts & the Fixes: Jobs
Factsheet, 30 May 2017
Having a good quality job is important for wellbeing. But with a squeeze in real earnings and the expansion of low quality work, employment is no longer a guaranteed route out of poverty.
The Facts & the Fixes: Public Services
Factsheet, 30 May 2017
We rely on public services throughout our lives to educate our children, to get us to work and to care for our loved ones. In recent years public spending cuts and privatisation have led to falling standards and restricted access to vital services.
Election 2017: A Comparison of Labour and Conservative Manifestos
Briefing, 19 May 2017
A comparison of Labour and Conservative proposals across key policies areas for the 2017 General Election.
The Facts & the Fixes: Youth Prospects
Factsheet, 2 May 2017
Young people face an increasingly hostile world. Here are the facts about young people in the UK, along with the policy fixes we need to improve youth prospects.
Minority Report: Race and Class in post-Brexit Britain
Dr Faiza Shaheen, Omar Khan
Think piece, 21 March 2017
This new report by the Runnymede and CLASS think tank explores the intersection of race and class in post-Brexit Britain.
Spring Budget 2017 Briefing
Briefing, 9 March 2017
Our Policy Officer and Senior Research Officer break down the Spring Budget 2017.
Briefing: Autumn Statement 2016
Briefing, 1 December 2016
Following the 2016 Autumn Statement, CLASS have put together a detailed summary of the most important announcements from new Chancellor Philip Hammond.
Fact Sheet: How unequal is the UK
Factsheet, 11 October 2016
Inequality has become a hot topic in the UK, and there is a huge amount of evidence that inequality is extreme and increasing. This 2 page fact sheet offers quick statistics that highlight the extent of this inequality.
Changing The Debate on Migration: Brexit Update
Briefing, 11 October 2016
This updated pamphlet provides facts to inform the debate on refugees, asylum seekers and migration since Brexit and is an important tool for challenging the current narrative.
Does the EU work for working class people?
Policy paper, 31 May 2016
As the EU referendum approaches, this essay series examines whether the EU has been good for working people. The series features six key progressive experts, and covers wages, legislation, the macroeconomy, regeneration, and community cohesion.
Budget Briefing 2016
An in-depth briefing following the 2016 Budget
Factsheet, 18 March 2016
This briefing focuses upon the announcements in the 2016 Budget, including the news that the Chancellor has failed to meet his debt and welfare targets and will also struggle to meet his ‘surplus’ rule.
Briefing: Spending Review 2015
Factsheet, 27 November 2015
This briefing on the Spending Review outlines the main announcements and their likely impacts.
Changing the debate on migration
Briefing, 11 September 2015
This updated pamphlet provides facts to inform the debate on refugees, asylum seekers and migration and is an important tool for challenging the current narrative.
What is aspiration?
How progressives should respond
Owen Jones, Kevin Courtney, Bruce Bennett, Imogen Tyler
Think piece, 25 August 2015
This essay series will explore the issue of aspiration from a progressive standpoint and asks whether aspiration can be a left wing value.
The mythology of business
Prof David Whyte
Briefing, 24 August 2015
This new publication has been released by the Institute of Employment Rights to dispels some of the myths surrounding business and its supposed benefits and seeks to shed some light on the lies that are used to deny workers their rights and diminish collective bargaining power.
Briefing: the Government’s proposed new Trade Unions Bill
Factsheet, 13 July 2015
This joint briefing from Class and the Institute of Employment Rights (IER) outlines further details on the various parts of the new Bill and provides analysis of the likely impact of the proposed legislation ahead of its publication.
The ‘budget surplus’ rule scam
Prof Malcolm Sawyer
Think piece, 7 July 2015
In June George Osborne outlined his plans for a new 'budget surplus’ law. This paper argues that this is ill-defined and essentially unenforceable. The proposal appeared without any economic rationale as to why a budget surplus would be either desirable or indeed achievable in a sustainable manner. Instead, this paper...
Briefing: The Queen’s Speech 2015
Factsheet, 28 May 2015
This factsheet focuses upon the announcements in the 2015 Queen’s Speech, including the plans for an EU referendum, an extension of Right to Buy and attacks on the rights of workers, and what this means for ordinary people, trade unionists and the labour movement.
Briefing: The Tax Lock
Factsheet, 1 May 2015
The Conservatives have pledged to introduce a “tax lock,” an unusual move which would legally prohibit them from increasing income tax, National Insurance, or VAT for five years. The party retains its earlier promises to take everyone on the minimum wage out of income tax, by raising the personal allowance...
The First 100 Days
What should a progressive government implement?
Think piece, 29 April 2015
In May 2015 a new progressive government could take office. Following one of the most unpredictable elections in decades, it will be a huge task to set down clear priorities that can begin to restore fairness and challenge inequalities in wealth and power. The first 100 days of the next...
Briefing: Rent control - what is Labour offering?
Factsheet, 28 April 2015
On Monday Ed Miliband outlined how Labour plans to address the crisis in private renting, with further details on the party’s 2014 policy to regulate private rents. But do Labour’s plans go far enough, and would they deliver the sort of rent controls the public now overwhelmingly support?
Where do the parties stand on the NHS?
Factsheet, 24 April 2015
This week saw the parties further outline their plans for the NHS with announcements coming from Labour as part of their ‘NHS week’. This briefing will set out the plans of the two main parties and those of the Lib Dems, Greens and UKIP.
Briefing: Manifesto summary - The two main parties
Factsheet, 15 April 2015
Monday saw the launch of Labour’s 2015 manifesto which formalised the series of pledges made in recent weeks and emphasised their economic credibility to voters. The Conservatives followed with the release of their manifesto on Tuesday which sought to outline their offer to voters and articulate their pitch to ‘working...
Briefing: Extending the right to buy
Factsheet, 14 April 2015
A key pledge in the Conservatives 2015 General Election manifesto is to extend the Right-to-Buy policy to housing associations. This comes after a period of massive budget cuts to investment in building new homes and the emergence of a crisis in housing where rents and house prices have outstripped wages.
Briefing: Publicly-owned railways
Factsheet, 10 April 2015
Today the Conservatives announced a pledge to enact a real-term freeze affecting about half of all rail fares if they win the election. Prime Minister David Cameron said the move - extending a freeze currently in place - would save an average rail commuter £400 between now and 2020. Labour's...
Factsheet, 2 April 2015
There has been increasing media coverage about the UK’s growing ‘productivity gap’ in the last few weeks, but why is it important? This briefing sets out what productivity is, why everyone is talking about it and what actions are needed from the next government.
Election 2015: What’s at stake for fairer tax?
Briefing, 16 March 2015
This guide outlines how the tax system is regressive, benefitting the rich and penalising the poor. Proportionally, tax from working people is not matched by the contributions of the rich. Widespread tax avoidance allows companies and wealthy individuals to shirk their responsibilities to public services. This guide sets out how...
Election 2015: What’s at stake for social security?
Briefing, 9 March 2015
This guide outlines the pressures facing the social security system caused by Coalition reforms, rising poverty and deep cuts to spending. Drawing attention to benefit cuts, the effects of the sanction regime, the stigmatisation faced by benefit claimants and the growth of food banks, this guide will expose the failings...
Election 2015: What’s at stake for the NHS?
Briefing, 3 March 2015
This guide covers the current challenges facing the NHS: increased pressure, plunging staff morale and impending funding crises, and how privatisation and marketisation has fundamentally damaged standards in healthcare. This pamphlet outlines how pressures could be lessened by eliminating costly competition processes. By repealing the Health and Social Care Act,...
Election 2015: What’s at stake for the economy?
Briefing, 24 February 2015
This guide outlines the state of the economy in 2015 and the impact Coalition policies have had on economic growth. The pamphlet highlights how austerity exacerbates a highly unequal system and further damages prospects of growth. As the Coalition continue to champion misleading figures on the debt and deficit, this...
Election 2015: What’s at stake for housing?
Briefing, 17 February 2015
This guide outlines the state of the housing crisis, with rents rocketing in the private sector, social housing waiting lists rapidly rising, the impact of Coalition welfare reforms and a failure to build enough affordable homes. The publication will show that by building the homes we need and protecting tenants'...
Election 2015: What’s at stake for work, pay and unions?
Briefing, 10 February 2015
This guide outlines the scale of the fall in living standards since 2008, the explosion of low-wage, insecure work and how working people and their unions have seen their rights attacked. By explaining the link between strong trade unions, widespread collective bargaining and lower inequality the pamphlet suggests short and...
Trade unions and economic inequality
Dr Lydia Hayes, Prof Tonia Novitz
Briefing, 18 November 2014
This accessible pamphlet by leading academics Lydia Hayes and Tonia Novitz looks in depth at the role of trade unions in the economy and the link between strong trade unionism and more equal societies.
Raising our quality of life
The importance of investment in arts and culture
Dr Abigail Gilmore
Policy paper, 12 November 2014
There has been much focus on growing inequalities in living standards, but the majority of discussion has focused on economic measures, failing to recognise the importance of ‘quality of life’. This paper considers the contribution of arts and culture to improving our quality of life. By looking at a range...
Tackling the housing crisis
Alternatives to declining standards, displacement and dispossession
Professor Marjorie Mayo, Ines Newman
Policy paper, 7 October 2014
The paper draws upon existing research, together with original research, to examine the underlying causes of the housing crisis. This paper recognises that housing problems will not be solved without rebalancing the economy, reducing the demand pressure on London and the South East, and redirecting public funds to other regions...
The Great British Rip Off
How to solve the cost of living crisis
Trade Union Group of MPs, unionstogether, Class Mythbusters
Briefing, 30 September 2014
Over the last year, Class, Unionstogether and the Trade Union Group of MPs have collaborated on a series of regional events to discuss the living standards crisis and the steps that you think should be taken to address it. This publication is the culmination of the issues identified and the...
The role of local government in a modern state
Policy paper, 18 September 2014
This paper outlines the unique role that local authorities can play and sets out a vision of how local government can be enabled to make a difference for the better. It argues for a fairer distribution of funding, for councils to borrow to build more homes, and for funding and...
Securing a decent deal for workers
Employee representatives on boards
Jim Sheridan MP
Think piece, 11 September 2014
This think piece argues for employee representatives on company boards. It is based upon interviews conducted in Sweden where successful legislation regarding employee representatives is already in place. In Sweden, companies with 25 or more employees have two representatives on the company board; companies with 1000 employees or more have...
State intervention for wage-led development
Professor Özlem Onaran
Policy paper, 1 September 2014
This paper demonstrates that over last 3 decades, real wages have grown slower than productivity, which has led to an accumulation of profits at the top as opposed to increases in wages for ordinary workers. Between 1976 – 2007, the income of the top 1% increased by 3.7% in real...
In the public interest
The role of the modern state
Think piece, 9 August 2014
This Think Piece examines the overarching themes that run through our series, 'In the public interest: the role of the modern state.' It critically examines the evolving functions of the state in the UK, EU and USA. The piece emphasises that it is urgent that the prevailing neoliberal mould is...
The good, the bad, and the future
Professor Roger Seifert
Policy paper, 16 July 2014
All countries have a state sector whatever the political nature of their governments and their economic and social systems. Enduring questions remain as to the limit of the state, and for what purposes it should be used. Answers have varied across times and regions with fierce debates over policy programmes...
Renewing Public Ownership
Constructing a Democratic Economy in the Twenty-First Century
Professor Andrew Cumbers
Policy paper, 9 July 2014
This paper examines the effects of three decades of privatisation on public services. It argues that the privatisation and marketization policies of successive governments have delivered the economy into the hands of a narrow set of vested corporate and financial interests. The consequences are that decision-making is geared towards short-term...
The importance of the labour movement in tackling inequality
Professor Richard Wilkinson, Professor Kate Pickett
Think piece, 1 July 2014
Drawing on a range of evidence, this short Think Piece looks at the role of the labour movement in achieving a more equal society. The weakening of the labour movement during the last quarter of the 20th Century has had a significant impact on the ability of working people to...
State and finance in financialised capitalism
Professor Costas Lapavitsas
Think piece, 12 June 2014
This paper from renowned economist Prof Costas Lapavitsas explains that the structural problems within the UK and other mature economies that were brought to the surface during the crisis of 2007-9, are inherent to contemporary mature capitalism. He argues that the problems have to do, primarily, with financialisation - a...
How can the European left deal with the threat posed by xenophobia?
Think piece, 28 April 2014
This essay charts the rise of xenophobia as a Europe-wide phenomenon, which has become more of an urgent threat following the increase in popularity of far-right parties such as UKIP. The essay calls upon European progressives to take on far-right parties across the continent.
The politics of curriculum in schools
Policy paper, 16 April 2014
This paper, impressive in its breadth and scope, examines 150 years of the British education system and demonstrates how an historic commitment to mass education has led to a counterproductive emphasis upon formal learning, even in nursery school children, at the expense of play and creative and engaging activity.
Without Social Europe there can be no Social Britain in our lifetime
Bernadette Ségol, Jude Kirton-Darling MEP
Think piece, 15 April 2014
This essay examines the concept of a Social Europe, a concept which put the values of collectivism, equality and solidarity, firmly at the heart of the EU. This paper was asks whether a left agenda for Europe could promote a renewed focus on securing a Social Europe and with it...
Think Big, Think Bold
Why the Left must aim for a radical Pan-European Green New Deal
Professor Yanis Varoufakis
Think piece, 10 April 2014
This essay examines the causes of the European financial crisis, and argues for a European Green New Deal to tackle the economic crisis in the Eurozone, address the domination of the financial sector across Europe and stem the growing influence of the far-right.
Can the European Union deliver for working people?
John Cryer MP, Carolyn Jones, Professor Jonathan Michie, Clare Moody MEP, Claude Moraes MEP
Think piece, 2 April 2014
As the European Elections approach, the media spotlight is increasingly focussing in on Europe and, more specifically, the European Union. In light of this, Class set out to make a weighty, yet balanced, contribution to the debate. We asked six key figures from across the labour and trade union movement,...
Why immigration is good for all of us
Class-Red Pepper magazine
Class-Red Pepper Magazine
Briefing, 21 March 2014
Addressing the argument that migrants are a drain on British resources, this Class pamphlet exposes common myths around immigration . This pamphlet addresses the fact that migrants have been used as scapegoats for a fall in living standards and shows that migrants make a positive contribution to the economy.
Banking in the public interest
Progressive reform of the financial sector
Professor Prem Sikka
Policy paper, 24 February 2014
This paper argues that there has been virtually no structural reforms to the financial sector since the financial crisis of 2008. Despite the organised gambling and anti-social practices by the banks which undermined the stability of the entire economy, it remains business as usual for the financial elite. The corrosive...
What is the 50p tax rate?
Factsheet, 29 January 2014
Our factsheets feature the best articles, the most relevant statistics, and the most up-to-date information to get you clued up on the issues everybody is debating. This factsheet focuses upon the 50p tax rate, after Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls pledged to reintroduce the policy at the 2014 Fabians Conference in...
BRIEFING: Bankers’ Bonuses
Factsheet, 22 January 2014
Our factsheets feature the best articles, the most relevant statistics, and the most up-to-date information to get you clued up on the issues everybody is debating. This factsheet focuses on bankers' bonuses - set to be big news in the coming weeks as RBS gears up to award its staff...
Reconstruction after the Crisis: A Manifesto for Collective Bargaining
Professor Keith Ewing, John Hendy QC
Policy paper, 15 November 2013
The authors of this Class and Institute of Employment Rights joint report set out a timely argument for the introduction of a statutory framework for collective bargaining. Keith Ewing and John Hendy trace the historical background to the current economic crisis – including the dismantling of trade union rights by...
Education, justice and democracy
The struggle over ignorance and opportunity
Professor Stephen J Ball
Policy paper, 17 October 2013
This paper argues that the increased involvement of the private sector in the education system has resulted in selection processes which favour the privileged and neglected the poor. The reluctance of the state to be involved in the education system has made it messy, patchy and diverse. The current system...
Austerity Illusions and Debt Delusions
Briefing, 2 October 2013
Exposing the myths that austerity has 'saved the economy', 'reduced debt', 'brought down borrowing' and 'kick-started recovery' - this Class briefing gives the facts and realities behind the lies. This pamphlet has been produced to expose the Coalition Government’s lies and prove that there are alternative routes back to jobs,...
Boom-time for legal loan sharks
How deregulation, market failure and a crisis in wages has led to the rise of payday lenders
Policy paper, 11 July 2013
Self-regulated payday lenders have exploded on the consumer credit scene since the recession and financially vulnerable individuals are now starting to feel the impact of this new type of lender on the high street. This paper shows that over a million people took out payday loans in 2012. Much of...
In Place of Fear
Narrowing health inequalities
Professor Danny Dorling
Think piece, 21 May 2013
This paper shows that the 1930s were the last time the population of Britain was as polarised in terms of their health as we are today. It was not simply the introduction of the NHS that halved inequalities in health in Britain between the 1930s and early 1950s. The overall...
Duty to care
In defence of universal health care
David Price, Professor Allyson Pollock
Policy paper, 14 May 2013
Proponents of the argument that tax-financed or ‘free’ health care is a privilege we can no longer afford are unable to explain why universal health care was instituted when the world’s economy was very much smaller than it is today. This paper asks - if the UK could create an...
In Land Revenue
The case for a Land Value Tax in the UK
Think piece, 8 May 2013
This paper argues that our current land economy does not serve us well. In response, it proposes a Land Value Tax for the UK. A Land Value Tax, targeted at unproductive wealth and speculation, could help deliver the house-building revolution – and the economic revival – our country desperately needs....
Financing the Social State
Towards a full employment economy
Richard Murphy, Howard Reed
Policy paper, 22 April 2013
This paper seeks to show that the policy of austerity that has increased idleness and has now given rise to the additional problem of disguised underemployment, makes no economic sense. Focusing on fiscal and taxation policies, Richard Murphy and Howard Reed argue that, as in Beveridge's time, the global recession...
The Case for Universalism
Assessing the evidence
Mike Danson, Paul Spicker, Robin McAlpine, Willie Sullivan
Policy paper, 18 April 2013
Universalism is once again edging up the political agenda. This underlying principle behind the welfare state has always been reviled by those who wish to see it dismantled, but more immediately concerning is a growing acceptance that in order to protect vital public services the ideal of universal coverage should...
Exposing the Myths of Welfare
Class-Red Pepper Mythbuster
Class-Red Pepper Magazine
Briefing, 10 April 2013
This pamphlet is the first in a series of mythbusters from Class and Red Pepper, designed to expose the realities behind the recurring myths which often scew the debate on welfare.
Abolishing Want in a Social State
Policy paper, 10 March 2013
Beveridge's 1942 Report was first and foremost a plan for the abolition of want. Yet want, in the form of poverty, has proved far from easy to abolish. This paper attempts to understand why, 70 years after the Beveridge Report, poverty continues to be so prevalent and will attempt to...
The pivotal role of social housing
Policy paper, 4 March 2013
'Tackling Squalor' was commissioned as part of the Social State series to address the Giant Evil of ‘squalor’ and propose new policy priorities for housing in 2015 Britain. This paper argues that the best way to counter the residualisation of social housing and the spatial concentration of social housing tenants...
Achieving a Social State
What can we learn from Beveridge's Giant Evils?
Think piece, 25 February 2013
This first paper in the Social State series of work looks at what we can learn from Beveridge’s analysis of society and explores how his Giant Evils can be redefined for today.
Time to step in
Why it’s no good being hands-off with housing
Think piece, 2 November 2012
This paper argues that the market will fail to meet our housing challenges: the government must step in to ensure we build enough new homes, of the right sort, in the right places. The historic record shows that private house-building alone will not produce enough new homes, and furthermore a...
Why Inequality Matters
My Fair London
Briefing, 6 September 2012
With an abundance of evidence, Why Inequality Matters shows that the scourge of inequality has had a real role in the current economic crisis. The pursuit of equality is not just a moral imperative, not just vital for the poor and for the social cohesion and wellbeing of society, it...
What would a socially just education system look like?
Professor Diane Reay
Think piece, 19 July 2012
The current policy status quo is one that valorizes choice whilst rarely recognizing that choices come with resources that remain very unequally distributed. Tinkering with an unjust educational system is not going to transform it into a just system. The building blocks of a socially just educational system lie outside...
Towards a new tax consensus
Embracing progressive taxation
Policy paper, 31 May 2012
For more than thirty years the politics of the UK and most other western democracies has been dominated by a notable and consistent adherence to a single consensus on tax issues. But as this paper makes clear, there are clear economic and social arguments for progressive taxation. The counter-arguments are...
The ‘cure’ which makes the patient worse
Prof Malcolm Sawyer
Policy paper, 21 May 2012
In his paper for Class Prof Malcolm Sawyer explains why the austerity programme is economically irrational, socially irresponsible, and fundamentally lacks credibility in its central goal of reducing the budget deficit. He argues instead that the reduction of the budget deficit can only come from a revival of private demand...
Rising inequality and financial crises
Why greater equality is essential for recovery
Think piece, 10 May 2012
This Think Piece argues that if the UK is to achieve a sustainable recovery from the current financial crisis, the wage share needs to be restored to post-war levels and the great concentrations of income and wealth broken up.