The opportunities of a lifetime

Model lifetime analysis of current British social policy

By Martin Evans and Jill Eyre


Nov 24, 2004

Page count

100 pages




297 x 210 mm


Policy Press
The opportunities of a lifetime

This report uses a revolutionary new research tool, LOIS (the Lifetime Opportunity and Incentives Simulation programme), to assess the impact of current government social policy on our lives from cradle to grave.

The strengths and weaknesses of the British benefit, pension and taxation systems are analysed in terms of how well they meet, or are likely to meet, the needs of individuals throughout their lifetimes. Specific government promises, such as those to end child and pensioner poverty and to reward those who work, are also reassessed in this context.

The opportunities of a lifetime is compulsory reading for social policy academics, researchers, analysts, students and policy makers who will find the innovative lifetime analysis invaluable. With brief and clear descriptions of the technical aspects of taxation, pensions and benefits, the report is also accessible to a wider readership.

"This important report should be on the reading list of everyone involved in social policy development." Citizen's Income

"The first impressive thing about LOIS is the scale of the project: so much information on so many benefits and taxation policies has been included and can be tracked across whole lifetimes. The second impressive thing is that this immense detail translates into such a powerful and simple visual tool, where the implications of today's policies are easily followed for decades to come." One Parent Families

"By profiling income over the lifetime this new report and method shows dramatically where the financial stresses are felt most acutely. This report will give researchers, policy makers and campaigners food for thought, particularly in its demonstration of income stress points and of the long-term impact of prices, rather than earnings inflation." Kate Green, Chief Executive, Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG)

Martin Evans is Senior Research Fellow and Jill Eyre, Research Officer, both at the Centre for Analysis of Social Policy at the University of Bath.

More details about LOIS, the custom-built simulation model developed by the authors, can be found at

Social policy, life chances and the lifetime; Model lifetimes and an average life; Low-paid lifetimes; Family lifetimes; Lifetime risks; Conclusions.

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