The current economic crisis has cast a sharp light on broad cultural trends across all income groups. Consumer-led aspirations and a national obsession with home-ownership are deepseated cultural developments with both social and economic drivers. But for many families, having access to products and homes means relying heavily on debt.
In the decade to 2008, average household debt in the UK increased substantially - from 93 to 161 per cent of disposable income. The profile of borrowers widened to include lower income groups, which some suggest has led to greater opportunities for social and economic inclusion. But low-income households are the ones that are most vulnerable to debt problems, and ippr's new research illustrates that our reliance on debt - far from creating opportunity - has created vulnerability during this recession.
This report is based on in-depth interviews, an income and expenditure diary and regular telephone conversations over four months which explored patterns of income, spending and borrowing.
State of the North 2024: Charting the course for a decade of renewalThe North’s communities are ambitious for a better future, but face systemic and pronounced inequalities. Gaps in power, wealth, opportunity, and health result in shorter, sicker, less fulfilling lives.
No home left behind: Funding a just transition to clean heat in ScotlandHow can we ensure that investment in clean heating in Scottish homes drives a just transition, sharing costs and benefits fairly?
The asylum backlog: Job done?This blog post sets out how the department must now grapple with a new set of backlog challenges.