New Policy Institute produces evidence-based research on a range of social and economic issues, the main areas of which fall within four key research areas: poverty, social security, housing, and economics. They are looked at individually, as well as by the links between them.
Our work on poverty, both nationally and regionally, and its links with social exclusion, goes back more than fifteen years. At the heart of the work is the view that, in a market economy such as ours, income matters, so households with low incomes face a range of disadvantages.
Since 2011 the social security system in the UK has undergone a series of changes, including the biggest change – the introduction of Universal Credit. Social security has been a target of reformers almost since its inception, with benefits introduced, removed, expanded and reduced on an almost annual basis.
Our work on social security seeks to put these new changes into their historical context and asks questions about both their aims and their effectiveness.
The cost, quality and suitability of housing is a key issue in the 21st century. Our work for the Trust for London has shown how housing is key to understanding the levels of poverty and inequality in the capital. Our poverty monitoring reports have shown how the rising number of people in the private rented accommodation has been accompanied by rising poverty in that sector.
Our interest in housing goes beyond the links with poverty. We have carried out extensive research into the supply, demand and choices in retirement housing. This is a sector that sits outside the housing market as it is usually understood, but is relied upon by a growing number of people. Our role in the research was to illuminate the complexities in the system and show the flaws in the existing incentives to save.
NPI’s approach to analysis always begins with the data and the macro economy is one area with a wealth of data, not all of it understood. While our studies of poverty, housing and social security lend themselves to focusing on specific policies and solutions, looking at the macro economy allows us to step back and look at the assumptions that underpin the very areas we study.
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