Library: Policy papers
Work in 2021: A Tale of Two Economies
Policy paper, 3 May 2021
This annual report considers who has been impacted most by the economic fallout of COVID-19, and looks at the wave of organising activity that has come in its wake. Containing original analysis of ONS data, interviews with trade union representatives, and results from a survey of over 2000 workers, commissioned...
Coronavirus and the Workers Emergency: Labour Market Realities 2020
Policy paper, 17 May 2020
Workers and Covid-19
Policy paper, 20 March 2020
This report assessing the risk to workers from the Covid-19 pandemic
The Cost of Doing Nothing: The Case for Long Term Investment to Tackle Automation
Policy paper, 3 September 2019
This report calculates the social and economic costs of failing to invest in preparing Britain for the challenges of automation.
Labour Market Realities: Insecurity, Stress and Brexit
Policy paper, 25 February 2019
This is the second annual CLASS report on the state of the UK labour market. It includes a major worker survey which finds the cost of living gap is leading to longer working hours, stress and debt.
Increasing the Supply of Social Housing: What are the current options?
Ines Newman, Marjorie Mayo
Policy paper, 26 November 2018
This paper by Professor Marjorie Mayo and Ines Newman explores how local authorities, housing associations and other social housing providers can supply more much needed homes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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...
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...
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 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.
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...
Reconstruction after the Crisis: A Manifesto for Collective Bargaining
Professor Keith Ewing, Lord 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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...