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Part A (50 per cent of the mark for this assignment)
Table 1 shows different measures of the rate of domestic burglary and of vehicle offences for six regions of England in 2014.
Table 1: Rates of domestic burglary and vehicle offences (selected regions, England, 2014)
2.4 per 1000 households
4.3 per 1000 households
1 in 333
1 in 192
(Adapted from Office for National Statistics, 2015a)
(Total marks: 25 marks)
Florence and Milan are cohabiting and are in their early twenties. They live in Little Venice in London and have two children, Minaj and Muse, aged 1 and 4 respectively. Florence has been on maternity leave looking after Minaj full-time during the past year and she is now contemplating going back to work. She is employed as a sound technician and creates music jingles for a machinery and equipment company. She is paid £7 an hour. Milan, a musician, also earns an average of £7 per hour from various jobs in catering and bars.
As Florence plans to resume employment, the couple are considering the best combination of hours of employment to maximise their net income after childcare costs; in particular, the four combinations of weekly hours shown in Table 2 (below).
Table 2: Florence and Milan’s options for employment and childcare
Hours of employment (Florence/Milan)
Total hours childcare to pay
Childcare cost (£)
Childcare cost (52 weeks) (£)
Gross earnings Florence (£)
Gross earnings Milan (£)
Gross earnings total (£)
Net earnings Florence (£)
Net earnings Milan (£)
Net earnings total (£)
Child benefit (£)
Working Tax Credit (£)
Working Tax Credit childcare element (£)
Child Tax Credit (£)
Total net income (£)
Total after childcare (£)
(E) Florence on 20 hours per week and Milan on 40 hours per week.
(F) Florence on 40 hours per week and Milan on 20 hours per week.
Childcare hours and costs for options E and F are the same as those for option C.
Word limit for Part A: 1000 words
Consider the following statistics and address the question below.
(Office for National Statistics, 2014, 2015b)
Taking the above statistics into account, explain how gender inequalities in earnings and employment affect men’s and women’s long-term financial planning and their financial security in old age, and also the impact of UK government policies on these inequalities in old age since the 1980s.
Word limit for Part B: 1400 words
Before you complete your EMA, make sure you read these guidance notes carefully so that you can follow the advice and instructions they contain.
In the following pages, you will find:
Question 1 assesses your understanding of risk, probability and insurance. Chapter 9 of Personal Finance and electronic Tutorial 9 (from Tutorials in Study resources) have relevant material for tackling this question. Questions 1.1 and 1.2 assess your understanding of probabilities and require you to think about how a probability is calculated and to apply this understanding to some data in the table. In addition to Chapter 9 and electronic Tutorial 9, Section 8 of the Module and Study Guide on ‘Working with numbers’ might be helpful. Questions 1.3 and 1.4 ask you to think about the meanings behind the figures, while Questions 1.5 and 1.6 require you to define and apply important concepts of insurance.
Question 2 focuses on the impact of caring decisions and the influence of state support on employment decisions and household incomes. Material from Chapter 8 and electronic Tutorial 8 will be relevant as well as some revision of Chapter 2 and electronic Tutorial 2 for tax calculations and different types of state benefits. You will need to use the ‘Tax and National Insurance calculator’ and the ‘Tax credit calculator’ (from Financial Tools in Study resources) for questions 2.1 and 2.3. Although it may seem that a lot of cells need to be filled, you might realise that only a few calculations are actually required. Use 2015–16 as your tax year of reference for explanation and calculations. Question 2.4 asks you to think beyond the short-term financial scenarios provided in Table 1.
Answering Part B requires you to think back across the whole module and write an essay that draws on material from a number of chapters. Given the amount of material that you could potentially use, it is essential that you carefully plan your essay to ensure that it has coherence and focus; you are not expected to cover every possible aspect of the module.
A good starting point is to deconstruct the question and make sure you have a plan to cover all the elements of the question (and only those).
You should use the statistics in ‘The assignment Part B’ and what you know from the module material about the differences between men and women in paid work (and therefore, unpaid work) and the likely implications for different households’ planning for their financial security in retirement. Explore the role of the state and consider how it has changed and how it is likely to change, and to what extent it has influenced the constraints and opportunities faced by men and women in different households in regards to their long term financial security. Also explore what government could do to support or hinder such financial security. As such, you are not asked to dwell on the causes of gender inequalities for working-age people but rather on the consequences later in life. Gender inequalities in old age may be reinforced by initial differences, and the State – through various government policies – may also have affected these inequalities. Therefore you are expected to describe the extent to which this might have been the case with relevant examples of such policies and reforms, and the result for different individuals. In any case it is very important that you introduce the issues you will cover in your essay, as there are many different ways to address the question.
This essay requires you to consider the four themes running through the module as well as the particular material contained in individual chapters and electronic tutorials. Questions you might ask yourself when constructing your essay include: how do the issues relate to broader changes in the social and economic context?; how might they relate to the interrelationships between individuals within households?; how might they impact on financial planning across the life-course?; which household differences, in terms of income, ethnicity and age mix, interact with gender and are most likely to relate to changes in government policy and long-term financial planning?
Also, remember that one individual might be a member of a number of different household types throughout the course of his or her life.
In terms of the specific chapters and electronic tutorials, you should start by considering significant changes which have taken place within the broader social and economic context. These are first discussed in Chapter 1. You should remember to consider the material that best illustrates both the financial implications of the statements and possible financial strategies. Chapter 2 and electronic Tutorial 2, for example, are directly relevant to a discussion on income differences and strategies to improve lifetime earnings. Chapter 7 and electronic Tutorial 7 have a discussion on pensions and pension reforms to address some of the gender inequality issues and planning implications. Chapter 8 and electronic Tutorial 8 discuss the financial implications of caring responsibilities and foregone revenue over the life-course.
While the above chapters are more likely to include key information to answer the question, you should also feel free to explore other material across the module, for example: Chapter 3 discusses household income management systems, Chapter 5 has a relevant emphasis on savings and investments, and Chapter 6 explores buying and renting and their implications for long term financial security.
As usual, make sure that any sources you cite or quote from are properly referenced (see Section 7.4 of the Module and Study Guide, and the module Assessment Guide for details of referencing procedure). In this last part of the final assessment for DB123, you are expected to display appropriate essay-writing skills. Please take time to plan and work out the structure of your essay before you start to write it. Guidance with essay writing is provided in the Module and Study Guide, Section 7. Guidance is also available from your tutor, so please contact them with questions. Your essay should be a continuous piece of writing, broken up into paragraphs for different ideas and illustrations, but avoiding sub-headings, bullet points and numbering. Your first paragraph should be an introduction, saying what you intend to include in the essay, and how you intend to answer the question. Your final paragraph should offer a conclusion that wraps up your points.
The learning outcomes (as listed in your Module and Study Guide) that this EMA is testing are: