Economic activity, hours worked and diminished expectations

This chart brings together data on two important aspects of the current employment situation in the UK - the total number of people in the labour market (economic activity) and hours worked.

Is charity doing more to tackle poverty than government?

In an otherwise well-argued article http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/poverty-is-the-defining-prob... , Andreas Whittam Smith asserts that in the face of rising poverty, the charitable endeavours of ordinary citizens 'are almost certainly doing more to alleviate the problem than the Government'. He goes on to say '..we have two remarkable things going on, not one. There is the ever-growing crisis of poverty.

Fiscal fantasies

This chart from the Office for Budget Responsibility has attracted some comment, from Robert Peston http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25240202 and Colin Talbot http://blog.policy.manchester.ac.uk/featured/2013/12/never-letting-a-goo... On the face of it, it looks as if the coalition is planning to take expenditure on public services down to a level below even that of 194

Mathematics, meritocracy & inequality

The fall-out from Boris Johnson's comments on IQ and the distribution of wealth brings out the fact that many misunderstandings about social inequality are also confusions about mathematics.

Income distribution 2011

Income rankings, and percentage difference from UK, for the 14 wealthiest European nations.

Living standards in the European club of rich nations

There’s a lot of interest at the moment in how living standards have changed over time, especially in the UK and the US. But how do living standards compare across countries at a single point in time? By any measure, the UK is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, belonging to a select club of nations in which living standards are very high by global standards. But how does it compare to the other members of the club?

Are there really 200,000 Roma migrants in the UK?

'Britain is now home to 200,000 Roma migrants, one of the largest populations in Western Europe, a recent study shows.' asserts the Daily Telegraph. David Blunkett warns of the potential for riots, and says 'the Government has its “head in the sand” over the true numbers'. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/10442352/Roma-migrant...

Income inequality 1961-2011/12

Gini coefficients before and after housing costs from 1961, courtesy of the IFS http://www.ifs.org.uk/fiscalFacts/povertyStats I've knocked this chart together in response to a tweet from Alex Andreou, according to which the PM has claimed that inequality is at its lowest level since 1986. That's not the case on this data, nor on any of the ten other inequality measures on the IFS's spreadsheet, so I've no idea what the PM is on about.

Cannaregio 3204

A building in the Campo San Alvise, Cannaregio, Venice taken in September. I was attracted to it by the sheer implausibility of the facade. To provide some kind of anchoring, I opted for trying to get the doorway roughly perpendicular, which means virtually nothing else is.

The lopsided wooden door is either an interesting solution to an intractable structural problem or somebody having fun. From this http://renaissancerules.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/campo-san-alvise-ven... (dated 2011 on the website http://renaissancerules.wordpress.com/2011/03/26/campo-santalvise/) it would seem to be of recent construction, or recently restored.

Economic inactivity - long term sickness 1993-2013

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