Ten years on from the Great Financial Crash, millions feel no further forward. Because they’re not. We’re mired in the worst squeeze on living standards since the days of Dickens. And now this crippling, seemingly endless malaise, has provoked the worst crisis of cooperation for a generation; we are divided between rich and poor, between young and old, and now with our closest neighbours with the vote for Brexit.

One way to think about today's 'crisis of the West' is to look at the economic growth rates in economically and politically 'free' versus 'unfree' nations. If you believe that economic and political freedom are linked (as I do), you would assume that free countries grow faster. For much of the post-war era that has indeed been true. But no longer.

Our community is one of the poorest in Britain and over the summer I am updating my research into the causes of poverty and low income.

I am looking for people to interview who have a household income of £13,000 a year or less.

The telephone interview will be strictly confidential and will be undertaken by my senior researcher Erik Cummins. It will take about 30-45 minutes.

The £1 billion deal Theresa May has struck with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is leaving the West Midlands massively short-changed.  I asked the House of Commons Library to dig into the figures and our analysis shows Northern Ireland will get £244 per head compared to £13 in the West Midlands – that’s more than 18 times as much funding.

Today’s combination of hyper-loose monetary policy and tight fiscal policy means that the asset-rich get richer while the asset-and-income-poor get battered. If you’re lucky enough to own a house or shares or pension rights, you’ve done well since 2010: the stock market is up 40%; house prices are up by over a quarter; and the ‘triple lock’ on pensions in the UK will have channelled more than £33 billion extra to those with pension rights by 2020. Yet those on tax credits have seen their incomes fall precipitously while, of course, benefiting not at all from asset-price inflation; needless to say, they have little if any pension rights to protect.

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