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A generation of change, a lifetime of difference?Social policy in Britain since 1979$
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Martin Evans

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847423054

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847423054.001.0001

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The Lowes

The Lowes

(p.283) Fourteen The Lowes
A generation of change, a lifetime of difference?

Martin Evans

Lewis Williams

Policy Press

This chapter evaluates the model lifetime simulations for a low-paid family, the Lowes, whose wage is 50% of median earnings. It specifically addresses their lifetime of inputs and outputs and of poverty risk with profiles where employment is continuous, but also considers interrupted lifetime profiles where unemployment and incapacity occur. It then first describes the profile of income, taxes and benefits for an inflation-free 2008 ‘Groundhog Day’ lifetime before moving on to impose these same assumptions on the 1997 and 1979 systems and comparing the incidence of taxes and benefits between these years. The Lowes in 1979 had lifetime disposable incomes that were 53% of the Meades' despite their earnings being 50% of median earnings. The gap grew hugely to 43% in 1997 and had returned to 1979 levels by 2008 (54%). Part of the 2008 difference is due to the national minimum wage.

Keywords:   Lowes, poverty, lifetime profiles, income, taxes, benefits, earnings

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