The Commission on Living Standards unveiled its final report, Gaining from Growth, on 31 October 2012 at Sixty One Whitehall.
Speaking at the launch event, the Commission’s Chair Clive Cowdery said it suggested solutions to a “fundamental long-term structural problem in Britain” which means lower-income families no longer share in the benefits of national economic growth.
He said the diverse backgrounds of the 14 Commissioners led them to rely on hard evidence not pre-conceptions to reach a broad consensus on the nature of the problem and its solutions.
During 18 months of analysis and discussion, the Commission’s work had begun to raise the standard of debate in the country and its recommendations provided a basis for politicians of all parties to address the living standards issue as Britain approaches the next election.
He was joined at the launch by some fellow Commissioners: Phil Bentley, (Managing Director of British Gas), Gavin Kelly (Chief Executive of the Resolution Foundation, Paul Johnson (Director of the IFS), Frances O’Grady (incoming General Secretary of the TUC), and Sally Russell (Director of Netmums). James Plunkett, Secretary to the Commission on Living Standards, presented the Commission’s key findings.
The event was chaired by Faisal Islam, Economics Editor of Channel 4 News. He told the 200-strong audience that the Commission’s work was “extremely helpful in re-focusing the debate over what many would argue is a broken social contract”.