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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > December 2016 > Statement of intent

Statement of intent

The “just managing” need deeds, not words

Theresa May has identified the fortunes of “just about managing” working families as her priority in post Brexit Britain. A new government’s rhetoric precedes real outcomes against which it can be judged. But from one point of view, May’s talk about the low-paid looks well timed. Employment remains on an upward march, and after the longest squeeze in living memory, just before the referendum pay was finally growing strongly in real terms. Low inflation helped and, crucially, so too did the introduction of the National Living Wage—a new higher minimum wage for those aged 25 and over. This bold step meant that the smallest pay packets grew more than twice as quickly as those of typical earners at the start of this year, a pattern we might expect to continue as the National Living Wage is set to rise rapidly in the coming years too. All this sounds like music to the ears of the “just managing.”

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In Prospect’s December issue: Sam Tanenhaus argues that Donald Trump was born to be a campaigning demagogue, but will he be too bored to rule? Ed Miliband and Michael Gove debate whether parliament should have a binding vote on the terms of Brexit and Christian Wolmar examines the driverless car delusion. Also in this issue: James Harkin examines the situation in Syria, focussing on Raqqa Ruth Dudley Edwards explores the battle in Ireland since the UK’s decision to leave the EU—will the border become a division? And Michael White looks at the life of Alan Johnson, the Labour MP and former postie.