Ruth Porter joined Policy Exchange in January 2014 as Head of Economics & Social Policy.
Ruth has more than a decade of experience working in public policy with leading think tanks, in both the UK and New Zealand. Most recently she worked as the Communications Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs. In previous roles she co-authored a series of reports on education that won the Innovative Projects category of the Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Awards, as well as editing the book Pursuing Social Justice in New Zealand, which was launched by New Zealand's Governor-General.
She is a frequent commentator in the media, regularly taking part in programmes such as Radio 5’s Paper Review and BBC 2’s Newsnight. She is also an Advisor to Million Jobs, a campaign focused on helping more young people find work.
- Joined Up Welfare: The next steps for personalisation
20 July 2014
Joined Up Welfare shows that the UK's system for helping people into work is in urgent need of reform and proposes a radical new structure centred around the specific needs of the individual. A new system would enable private companies and charities to compete with government providers to offer more personalised and specialist support to jobseekers.
- Taxing Jobs: Practical policies for a pay recovery
27 March 2014
Taxing Jobs argues that because pay and productivity have remained strongly linked over the course of the recession, wages will begin to rise and productivity will improve as employers take on more staff. Providing a boost to the labour market in the form of a cut to the payroll tax for businesses would speed up the rate at which companies take on more staff. This would reduce unemployment more quickly and force employers to improve productivity and therefore pay among their workforces.
- Policy Exchange Pre-Budget Briefing
12 March 2014
We are delighted to be hosting a cross-party panel of politicians to discuss what they think should be the focus of the 2014 Budget. MPs Nadhim Zahawi, Jeremy Browne and Lord John McFall will join Policy Exchange's Head of Economic & Social Policy Ruth Porter and The Guardian's Chief Political Correspondent Nick Watt for what will doubtless be a fascinating discussion of the final Budget before the election.
- Britain’s recovery outstrips the world
25 July 2014
Ruth Porter, Head of Economic and Social Policy at Policy Exchange, is quoted on the front cover of The Times responding to the IMF upgrading its growth forecast for the UK. Ruth said that "the IMF is eating humble pie again" as the statistics reveal that the UK is growing faster than every other member of the G7.
- Britain hailed as 'the Mo Farah of the global race' as IMF predicts fastest growth in G7 of 2.9% in a vindication for Osborne
08 April 2014
Ruth Porter, Policy Exchange's Head of Economic and Social Policy, is quoted by The Daily Mail calling Britain “the Mo Farah of the global race”, following IMF predictions that UK growth will be the fastest in the G7. Ruth stresses that the ‘global race’ is a marathon not a sprint, and that while our flexible labour market has helped the UK to weather the economic downturn more than most, we must raise our ambition further.
- Budget 2014: Welfare spending cap set at £119.5bn in 2015-16
19 March 2014
Policy Exchange's Head of Economic and Social Policy, Ruth Porter, is quoted by BBC News commenting on the welfare cap introduced in Budget 2014. Ruth says that because the cap has been set broadly in line with current spending plans and excludes the state pension, it is unlikely to receive pressure for to be cut further in the future, but will be effective in curbing the likelihood of substantial spending increases.
- Tinkering around the edges on pensions is not sufficient
19 March 2014
Ruth Porter, Policy Exchange's Head of Economic and Social Policy, writes reacting to Budget 2014 in The Guardian. Ruth says that the announced welfare cap and fiscal rules are the very minimum tools that should be employed in tackling the deficit, and argues that including the state pension in the welfare cap would be more effective.
- Welcome measures for savers, but the underlying problem remains
19 March 2014
Ruth Porter, Head of Economic and Social Policy at Policy Exchange, examines Budget 2014 as part of ConservativeHome's Budget panel. Whilst the Budget highlighted crucial elements like economic credibility and the need for investment, Ruth argues that the failure to include state pensions in the welfare cap will make it less effective. Similarly, Ruth says that the ISA and annuities measures, while welcome, fail to tackle the underlying issue of people not saving enough for retirement.
- Osborne Scraps Annuity Rule in U.K. Budget Aimed at Savers
19 March 2014
Bloomberg Businessweek quotes Ruth Porter, Head of Economic and Social Policy at Policy Exchange, commenting on the provision from Budget 2014 to end compulsory annuities. Ruth says that ending compulsory annuities and making it cheaper for pensioners to draw down their pots will bring much needed flexibility to the system.
- Ruth Porter discusses Budget 2014 on CNBC
19 March 2014
Ruth Porter, Policy Exchange's Head of Economic & Social Policy, appears on CNBC ahead of the Budget discussing what George Osborne needs to include. Ruth argues that with the UK still facing a huge deficit, Osborne needs to set out measures to show that the UK is prepared to tackle government expenditure.
- Ruth Porter discusses the child poverty target on the Daily Politics
27 February 2014
Ruth Porter, Policy Exchange's Head of Economics & Social Policy, appeared on the Daily Politics to discuss the government's child poverty target. Ruth commended the strategy’s approach for addressing why people are living in poverty, urging future discussion of the topic to include more measures than simply household income, such as whether a household is in debt and whether parents have wider health issues such as addictions.
- Ruth Porter discusses Davos on Channel 4 News
23 January 2014
Ruth Porter, Policy Exchange's Head of Economics & Social Policy, appears on Channel 4 News to discuss Davos and the future of capitalism. Ruth stresses the importance of making sure that prosperity works for everyone.
- A bold plan to make welfare more personalised and responsive
22 July 2014
Ruth Porter, Head of Economic & Social Policy at Policy Exchange, outlines the recommendations made in our recently published report Joined Up Welfare. The report calls for a more personalised approach to welfare provision to ensure that jobseekers with multiple challenges to finding work are provided with the right support. It argues that private companies, charities and the employment services part of Jobcentre Plus should be allowed to compete to provide support to jobseekers because, as Ruth argues, competition drives improvement.
- What are the Tories' election plans?
20 July 2014
Ruth Porter, Head of Economic & Social Policy at Policy Exchange, looks at what last week’s Cabinet reshuffle might reveal about David Cameron’s plans for the 2015 general election. Ruth highlights the promotion of Liz Truss and Michael Fallon who are both “adept media performers” and could play an important role in campaigning ahead of the election. She also argues that David Cameron will focus on how fixing the economy is a two-term project, which is why George Osborne has been left as Chancellor.
- Unions are harming their members’ interests with strikes
11 July 2014
Ruth Porter, Policy Exchange's Head of Economic and Social Policy, writes arguing that strike action in the modern era is proving ineffective and harmful to union members. Instead, if public sector workes want higher wages they should seek a local pay structure which reflects performance.
- Labour MPs need to learn to work together. Going it alone can only get you so far
31 March 2014
Ruth Porter, Head of Economic and Social Policy at Policy Exchange, outlines why Labour MPs need to start working together. Ruth argues that younger Labour MPs are more focused on building a personal reputation and express little in the way of ideological commitment. This 'rampant individualist' approach stands in stark contrast to the solidarity displayed by their Conservative counterparts, which has led to a proliferation of groups with a clear vision.
- The great British wage squeeze should be about to end
26 March 2014
Ruth Porter, Head of Economic and Social Policy at Policy Exchange, outlines how government can speed up economic growth and subsequently improve living standards by cutting employers' National Insurance contributions. With the UK enjoying a strong connection between pay and productivity, then as output grows, so will pay. By incentivising business to employ more workers, this would therefore drive up pay.
- The Church should be employing its moral outrage to greater effect
19 February 2014
Ruth Porter, Policy Exchange's Head of Economic and Social Policy, writes in response to Archbishop Nichols's condemnation of the UK welfare system in its treatment of the poor. Ruth argues that the state of the economy dictates our ability to help those in need and she refers to Policy Exchange's upcoming report on sanctions and the role they play in encouraging people to find work.
- The importance of building more homes
28 January 2014
Ruth Porter, Policy Exchange's Head of Economics & Social Policy, sets out some of the many reasons why we need to build more new homes, and how we can about about achieving that goal. Ruth argues that politicians have yet to catch up with voters on understanding the importance of housing as an issue.
- It's the economy, stupid. And Ed Miliband knows it
16 January 2014
The cost of living and economic credibility will be the defining issues of the next general election, writes Ruth Porter, Policy Exchange's Head of Economics & Social Policy. Ruth argues that a recasting of the free market is going to be necessary to tackle the challenges presented by the state of the UK economy, something which Policy Exchange will explore in our future Popular Capitalism programme.