Social Market Foundation

The Social Market Foundation (SMF) is a non-partisan think tank. We believe that fair markets, complemented by open public services, increase prosperity and help people to live well. We conduct research and run events looking at a wide range of economic and social policy areas, focusing on economic prosperity, public services and consumer markets. The SMF is resolutely independent, and the range of backgrounds and opinions among our staff, trustees and advisory board reflects this.


Latest reports

Pensions: a vision for the future

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation proposes a vision for a simpler, fairer and more sustainable pensions landscape. The pensions landscape is complex and unsustainable in its current form. This Social Market Foundation report proposes a vision for a simpler, fairer and more sustainable pensions landscape, incorporating the three pillars of...

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Testing patience

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation looks at reducing the burden of the English school curriculum. Nearly a decade on from the last major reforms, politicians are again turning their attention to the national curriculum. This Social Market Foundation briefing assesses claims that the curriculum is ‘too packed with content’ and...

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Up for grabs

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation presents evidence on public attitudes to the pension ‘pot-for-life’ proposal. The Social Market Foundation recently published proposals for ‘member choice’ over pensions, whereby individuals can direct their contributions to a scheme of their choice. Meanwhile, the government is consulting on related proposals for a ‘lifetime...

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Labour economics

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation provides independent analysis of the party’s proposed approach – and the gaps it needs to fill. With the Labour Party having vowed to achieve the fastest growth in the G7, the Social Market Foundation has brought together leading economic experts to provide independent analysis of...

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Investing in the future

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation looks at the case for universal financial education in the UK. Politicians across the party spectrum are keen for education to provide young people with key life skills, yet financial literacy among young people in the UK remains inadequate. This Social Market Foundation report looks...

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Beyond the comfort zone

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation looks at how effective planning reform is and how the UK can learn from failures elsewhere. Planning reform is of growing interest to policymakers across the Anglosphere as a way to increase the rate of housebuilding at minimal cost to the public purse. This report...

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Affordable living

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation looks at the role social and cooperative housing can play and what the UK can learn from other countries. High house prices are putting homeownership out of reach for many, but rising rents and insecurity of tenure make the private rental sector an undesirable long-term...

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Life beyond bars

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation discusses the current state of education in prisons, and why it is failing to deliver on its aims. Education is central to prisoner rehabilitation, but take-up of it has been in decline and is still not back at even pre-pandemic levels. This Social Market Foundation...

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Let down

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation looks at rental regulations, subsidies and tenants’ rights across the English-speaking world. The UK’s private rental sector has grown since the 1990s, but long term renting is still not an attractive option for many due to high costs and limited renters’ rights. In this Social...

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Fixing the roof while the sun shines

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation looks at improving energy bill support for the coming winter. With high energy prices remaining this winter there is still a strong case for providing energy bill support. This Social Market Foundation briefing looks at the potential for reforming the Warm Homes Discount to provide...

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Data Protection and Digital Information Bill

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation argues that the Bill is a threat to fair markets and open public services. The Data Protection and Digital Information Bill, currently at Committee stage in the House of Lords, is set to undermine vital rights that protect vulnerable consumers and help workers understand how...

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Pay and Morale Survey 2023

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation presents insights into the state of pay and morale of the police force. Low pay and poor conditions have resulted in workforce challenges across the public sector, and the police force is no exception. This Social Market Foundation report, written in partnership with the Police...

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Home economics

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation discusses financial policies to increase homeownership. Homeownership is a dream for millions in countries across the Anglosphere, but rising prices have put that dream out of reach for many households. This Social Market Foundation report – the second in a series on the problem of...

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Dwelling on it

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation provides an overview of the scale of the housing crisis in the English speaking world. Countries across the English-speaking world are wracked by a housing crisis that is pushing the matter firmly up politicians’ agendas. This introductory paper – the first of a series of...

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Fraudscape

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation discusses the size of the fraud problem around the world. Fraud is not just a problem for the UK, it is a pressing issue for many countries around the world. Using data from 15 countries, this Social Market Foundation paper provides an aggregated picture of...

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