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Observations

In these frequent and topical observations, we comment on policy issues related to our research programme. Sign up to receive email alerts when new observations are posted, or scroll down to subscribe to one of our RSS feeds.
Observation
An important part of the UK policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been to try to help ensure key workers with children have access to sufficient childcare. Children of key workers are allowed to continue attending school and childcare settings, and both schools and early years providers are ...
Observation
The Debt Management Office announced yesterday that in order to finance the Government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak it intends to auction £45 billion of gilts this month. This would be a record. It is highly likely that the amount that needs to be raised over the new financial year will ...
Observation
Alison Andrew, Alex Armand, Britta Augsburg and Iván Kim Taveras
With no vaccination available, scientists recommend non-pharmaceutical interventions – in particular, handwashing, social distancing, and the shielding of elderly and vulnerable groups – as the only feasible way of suppressing the spread of COVID-19, and lessening its mortality rate. Such ...
Observation
The coronavirus pandemic is first and foremost a public health crisis. But it also represents a large and systemic economic shock, with massive effects on both the supply and demand sides of the economy.
Observation
Isabel Stockton, a research economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said: “The response to the covid-19 pandemic has led to a sharp downturn in economic activity. It has also, rightly, prompted a substantial fiscal policy response, the cost of which will add directly to government ...
Observation
Today (26 March 2020) the Chancellor announced new, very generous support for the self-employed. Those who earn the majority of their income from self-employment and who had average profits of no more than £50,000 over the last three years will be eligible for a taxable grant equal to 80% of the ...
Observation
There is a clear need to temporarily reallocate some workers but this should be balanced with the need to have the economy ready to quickly resume ‘business as usual’ once the COVID-19 crisis is over.
Observation
Over the past decade employment has grown very strongly, from 29 million to 33 million in work (70% and 76% of the working age population). At the same time wages have grown at historically slow rates.
Observation
The funding arrangements for the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland do not look well designed to deal with the coronavirus crisis.
Observation
In this observation, we set out some of the most important facts about key workers to help inform the evolving policy response to COVID-19.