Our goal at the Institute for Fiscal Studies is to promote effective economic and social policies by better understanding how policies affect individuals, families, businesses and the government's finances.

Big rise in low paid men working part-time

Twenty years ago only 1 in 20 men aged 25 to 55 with low hourly wages worked part-time. Today 1 in 5 of this group work part-time: a four-fold increase. This is the result of a steady trend – not just the recent recession. Meanwhile the proportion of middle- and high- wage men working part-time remains extremely low, at less than 1 in 20. Hence, for men low hourly wages and low hours of work increasingly go together and this has become an important driver of inequality in their pay.

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Inheritance and inequality

Younger generations are likely to inherit much more wealth than their predecessors did, both in absolute terms and relative to their other sources of wealth. But within each generation, those who are already well off tend to inherit the most - with important implications for inequality and social mobility. These are the main findings of new IFS research.

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IFS Green Budget 2017

The IFS Green Budget 2017, in association with ICAEW and funded by the Nuffield Foundation, will analyse the issues and challenges facing Chancellor Philip Hammond as he prepares for his first Budget. The findings from a selection of chapters will be presented at an event on 7 February 2017 at Guildhall in London, where the full publication will be launched.

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How far do today’s social care announcements address social care funding concerns?

In yesterday’s English Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement, the government announced councils will be able to set a ‘Social Care Precept’ of 3% a year over the next two years, rather than the 2% a year previously planned, to raise additional funds for adult social care. In this Observation we look at possible implications for short-term council tax rises, but also at the contrainsts placed on councils by the cap in rises over the next three years.

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Sweetening the sugar tax?

In Budget 2016 the Chancellor announced a ‘soft drinks industry levy’ that aims to reduce consumption of sugar sweetened soft drinks. The levy is due to take effect from April 2018 with two rates, one applying to mid-sugar drinks and a higher rate applying to high-sugar drinks. A recent article in The Lancet: Public Health considers the possible consequences of the levy for a series of health outcomes, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and dental care. In this Observation we propose a simple change to the soft drinks levy which would increase the likelihood of it having a beneficial effect on these outcomes.

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We have the chance to rewrite Britain’s tax rules

Leaving the EU gives us the chance to do things better - and worse - with government tax policy. Let’s use the control we are about to regain wisely and not throw it away on short term opportunism, writes IFS Director Paul Johnson in The Times.

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Does free childcare help parents work?

The government is planning to extend free part-time childcare for 3 and 4 year olds in England from 15 to 30 hours per week from September 2017. One of the aims of the policy is to enable parents to work more – but is it likely to achieve this aim? New analysis from researchers at IFS, Essex and Warwick investigates the issue.

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