In a new policy brief, the most salient results of work package 2 are synthetised in a brief note. On the basis of detailed simulations of tax and benefit policies between 2001 and 2011 in 7 European countries, John Hills, Alari Paulus, Holly Sutherland and Iva Tasseva have analysed the distributive impact of policy reforms on poverty and inequality. They show that even though poverty did not decline substantially, the net effect of policy changes has been a reduction in poverty. Furthermore, they highlight that the indexation of benefits and tax thresholds matter a great deal for changes in poverty and inequality, often even more than more visible structural reforms to tax-benefit systems. Finally, they point to the importance of evaluating the effect of ranges of policy measures together, as indexation effects and policy reforms often go in opposite directions.
9 October 2014, John Hills presented the most important conclusions during the “Conference on the Europe 2020 poverty target: lessons learned and the way forward“, organised by the European Commission.