Library: Economy and Industry
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.
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.
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: 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 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.
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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 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...
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.