We are a leading cross-party think tank with expertise in domestic public policy. We have an influential voice in developing welfare, health, education and savings policy, amongst others.

In July 2012 we were named UK Think Tank of the Year and Economic and Financial Think Tank of the Year by Prospect Magazine.

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Self-employment: not just for the downturn

Today’s ONS figures show the self-employed account for just under 15% of total employment, the highest it has been in two decades. The numbers in self-employment have grown by over 7% in year, compared to growth of just 1.6% in the number of employees. SMF Chief Economist Nida Broughton asks whether this a good thing or not?

From the SMF Archive: Economist On Economist Violence

So today’s choice is Hutton vs Skidelsky on the future of the welfare state. This looks good. Hutton says we can afford higher welfare. Just raise taxes. Skidelsky punches back that we need to let the people free. Hutton suggests UK taxation and public spending isn't high by international standards. Skidelsky says this should be a matter of pride, not regret.

Don’t underestimate consumer power

As the economy is starting to recover, there has been a ferocious debate about the cost of living and the squeeze this has forced on middle-income families. Ed Miliband’s speech today was full of references to households’ worries about bills and rising prices. But how households actually react to and cope with the squeeze is discussed much less.

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