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LSE to monitor poverty and inequality under the Coalition

Trust for London, in partnership with Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Nuffield Foundation, has publicly launched a major new research programme on the impact of the recession, spending changes and the government's social policy reforms on inequality and poverty in the UK. The research will be carried out by the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the London School of Economics over the period leading up to the next scheduled general election in May 2015.

Among other things, it will provide a comprehensive overview of social policy changes and public spending patterns, their differing impacts on different groups, and how the increase in localism has affected regional inequalities and the north/ south divide. It will also document how the overall distributions of income and wealth have been affected by the recession, spending cuts and changing policy.

The research team will examine the Coalition government's record in relation to its own claims to extend equality of opportunity and increase social mobility.

CASE has already produced two books on poverty and inequality under the Labour government up to 2007. Its Director, Professor John Hills, was chair of the National Equality Panel which produced an Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK, reporting mainly on the situation up to 2008.

Alongside the national research, Trust for London is also funding a parallel study to examine how London compares with the rest of the UK and at changing patterns within the capital. This will provide a robust, independent, and authoritative basis for public comment and debate on the situation in London in the coming years. It will include case studies of specific local authorities taking different approaches to spending cuts and service provision, to show how these impact on the poorest neighbourhoods and on particular groups of Londoners.

Bharat Mehta OBE, Chief Executive of the Trust for London, said "At a time of cuts, it is critically important that research budgets are used to inform decision-making to ensure the poorest are not disproportionately affected."

Initial reports will start to become available late in 2012 and early in 2013, via CASE's website.

Posted on 22 October 2011