What’s yours is mine …. Assumptions about couples in means-tested benefits

This blog post was written by Marilyn Howard, Honorary Research Associate and Doctoral student in the School of Policy Studies, University of Bristol

Couples living together are often assumed to share income and manage finances jointly. This assumption underpins means-tested benefits, which treat a couple as if they were one unit, so that one partner’s income and assets affects the couple’s overall benefit entitlement.

Summarising existing research into money management and control in a briefing for the Women’s Budget Group , Marilyn Howard from the University of Bristol, and Fran Bennett  from the University of Oxford, use these insights to explore the implications for how social security benefits are designed and delivered.

Continue reading

The US branding China a ‘currency manipulator’ threatens global stability

“Donald Trump”by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Winnie King, University of Bristol

The US has escalated its trade war with China by accusing the country of devaluing its currency to make its exports unfairly cheap. When China’s currency, the renminbi (RMB) fell below the symbolic seven-per-dollar level on August 5, President Donald Trump reacted by labelling China a currency manipulator on Twitter. His Treasury department followed suit, making it the official government position. Continue reading

Facebook’s Libra: it’s not the ‘crypto’ that’s the issue, it’s the organisation behind it

The founding partners of the Libra Association.
Ascannio / Shutterstock.com

Bill Maurer, University of California, Irvine and Daniel Tischer, University of Bristol

In all the hype that has surrounded its Libra currency, Facebook has been able to distract attention away from an important issue. Libra is being hyped as Facebook’s bitcoin but it’s really a proposal for a global payments system. And that system will be controlled by a small and exclusive club of private firms. Continue reading