Austerity in the UK

How are public spending cuts, policy change and the state of the economy affecting poor people and places in the UK – and how are they coping?

Our series of ‘Insights’ (see below) and short films have inspired others to highlight the impact of austerity measures:

  • In 2014, BBC Four broadcast These Four Walls, an hour-long documentary pulling together stories from Peter Gordon’s films for Guardian Films and JRF.
  • After covering one of those stories, The Press in York launched its ongoing Stamp Out Poverty campaign.
  • Journalist Mary O’Hara wrote Austerity Bites, a book published in 2014 by The Policy Press, based on her interviews with people in communities across the UK for JRF’s Insights.

Our research includes a programme of work on Social Policy in a Cold Climate, examining the effects of the major economic and political changes in the UK since 2007, particularly their impact on the distribution of wealth, poverty, inequality and social mobility. It also examines geographical variations in policy, spending, outputs and outcomes.