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Matthew Oakley

Head of WPI Economics and Senior Researcher at the Social Market Foundation

Matthew Oakley is Head of Economic Analysis at Which?( ).

He is also a member of the Social Security Advisory Committee ( )

Prior to joining Which? in October 2013, he was Head of Economics and Social Policy at Policy Exchange and, before that, an Economic Advisor at the Treasury.

He has an MSc in Economics from University College London, where he specialised in labour economics and econometrics.

More than Just Cuts: The Spending Review and the Northern Powerhouse

Delivering reforms that stick to these principles and that make the Northern Powerhouse a reality would help to show that the Spending Review is about more than just cuts. Alongside reforms to employment support, it is a prime opportunity for the Chancellor to present a more positive side to his plans for the next five years and beyond.
22/11/2015 23:37 GMT

Five Consumer Themes to Watch in 2015

Overall consumers had much to be positive about in 2014 and the start of 2015 has seen both consumers in their strongest position since our tracking began and continued signs of easing inflationary pressure (particularly on essentials). But that doesn't mean that there are not challenges ahead...
14/01/2015 14:00 GMT

Consumers Cutting Back Less, But Remain Cautious

One of the areas to see the biggest falls in proportions of consumers cutting back is holiday spending. This time last year, over half (53%) of consumers said they would be cutting back on holiday spending in the coming months. That figure now stands 15 percentage points lower at 38%.
07/08/2014 13:10 BST

Consumer Outlook: Generally Sunny with Localised Showers

GDP growth has outperformed consensus expectations since last summer and forecasts have been revised up significantly for the year ahead. But it is also clear that we still have some way to go to ensure that all consumers can look forward to sustained increases in their living standards.
11/07/2014 13:27 BST

Is the Squeeze on Living Standards Over? (Spoiler: Yes, but No)

Increased spending, confidence and confidence in the future all bodes well for the future. But let's not get too excited. It is clear that beneath these headlines, many consumers are still struggling. For instance, positivity over prospects for future personal finances varies significantly across the UK. Londoners and people in the West Midlands are much more likely to feel positive about their future finances than those in the North West or in Wales.... Our data shows men are more likely than women to be feeling positive about their financial situation...
05/05/2014 22:07 BST

Lots of Data on the Costs of Essentials (But More Is Still Needed)

Anyone following the economic and political debate in recent years will have found it hard to escape the fact that the price of essentials is rising. While most have accepted this as a given, and policy makers have been tussling to tame the rises, what has been missing from the public debate has been hard evidence on precisely how much these rises have impacted households over time.
10/03/2014 17:20 GMT

The Five Which? Charts That Frame the Autumn Statement

When the Chancellor stands up to give his Autumn Statement on Thursday, he will be reassured that the economy and consumer views are more positive than this time last year. But Which? consumer insight shows that the battle isn't yet won.
03/12/2013 17:26 GMT

Universal Credit: Good Start, More Needs to be Done

Commentators who support the changes will focus on the simplification of the welfare system and improvement in work incentives that this new benefit will herald. Those worried about the impacts will wring their hands about likely difficulties with on-line claims, financial management and a small number of people who stand to receive less than under the current system. Both of these groups have a point.
29/04/2013 11:29 BST

Another Lost Generation: This Time It's 50+

One thing that is clear is that unless action is taken now we risk a 'lost generation' of over 50s, unable to find work and consigned to living out their lives with lower living standards than they had hoped.
20/06/2012 14:28 BST