Researchers say there is little optimism about the outcome of negotiations.
Britain needs a pay rise after a "historic decade" of hardship, says The TUC.
A system of stepped fees and restored maintenance grants would reduce average levels of debt substantially, and clear fee debt entirely for those from low income households, at a more moderate cost to the taxpayer. This would significantly lower financial barriers to participation, while nonetheless sharing the cost between the taxpayer and those with the greatest ability to pay. Young people deserve a fairer deal, and genuine reform of student finance would be a good place to start.
This week we've learned from the government's leading Brexiteer, David Davis, that the UK will be putting British jobs and living standards at risk for nothing more than the illusion of 'taking back control' of our borders.
People defined a home according to what it enables them to do. Can I afford the rent without cutting back on food? Is it worth making friends at the school gate or might we have to move in six months? Can our kids can sleep safely and comfortably at night?
Prime Minister's Ambition To Help The 2.1million 'Just Managing' Families Means Tearing Down The 'Here And Now' Barriers To Social Mobility
Real social mobility is definitely crucial if we're to help 'just managing' families. But we need a broader focus on progression in work, on building homes, and on geography to reduce segregation and connect people to growing economies. That's how we improve mobility in the here and now.
Today's annual Family Spending release from the Office for National Statistics contains a wealth of useful information - and the ONS has done a good job of presenting much of that data. Below we set out the Resolution Foundation's five key charts that explain just who spent what in 2014.
Living Wage Week is a time to take stock of the low pay challenge that confronts a growing number of working people in the UK - and think about what more can be done to tackle it. Despite the many living wage victories, the outlook is bleak.... Against this backdrop, we should see George Osborne's 'national living wage' for what it is - an enhanced minimum wage. And while it would be churlish to deny that it will do some good (it was after all a policy that was swiped straight out of Labour's 2015 manifesto), we need to recognise three big flaws in the government's way of going about things that reveal the weakness of its approach to tackling lowpay.
If ministers are really concerned about low pay, they should start by announcing that all government departments are to become living wage employers, and encourage other employers to follow suit. They must also fund local councils properly so that the introduction of the living wage does not bankrupt the social care sector. The government should also back UNISON's Ethical Care Charter and help address the endemic levels of non-compliance in the care sector by ensuring that all care workers are paid for their travel time.
Increasing take home pay enables state support to fall back, making it the key to reducing the cost of in-work support to low earning families (whether through tax credits or under Universal Credit). But reducing in-work support without increasing take home pay first will simply result in low earning working families falling even further short of a decent living standard.