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Happiness experts to respond to Chancellor’s speech PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 08 March 2017
The Chancellor’s budget speech on Wednesday will be scrutinised for its likely impact on the economy, public finances and household incomes – but how will it affect the wellbeing of the UK population?  

Happiness researchers associated with the What Works Centre for Wellbeing are available to respond on-air, online and in print immediately after the budget on its implications for wellbeing.

Drawing on a panel of experts ranging from health to cultural studies to psychology, Professor Paul Frijters of the Centre for Economic Performance can point out:

· The likely consequences of particular budget measures for various groups (old/young, men/women, families/singles, employed/unemployed, this year/future years);
· Who the main wellbeing winners and losers are likely to be;
· And what the missed opportunities were in this budget to increase wellbeing.

Among potential budget changes that would improve wellbeing:

· Business rates that provide incentives to create high quality jobs near where people live – we know that being in a job, having a good job and having a shorter commute are all positive for wellbeing. Good jobs don’t mean a certain skill level, type or industry – wellbeing is highest in jobs which are secure, with good social connections and the ability to influence our conditions.
· Education reforms that create clear technical qualifications and offer opportunities for adult learning and training – we know that learning throughout life is associated with greater satisfaction and optimism.
· Incentives for firms to support employees in planning for their retirement – we know that people who are involuntarily forced into retirement, without a financial safety net, experience the greatest drop in wellbeing.
· Tax changes that benefit people at the lower end of the income distribution – we know that badly off individuals get more wellbeing from the next pound than rich people.

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