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.
Prospect Magazine UK think tank of the year 2014.

Pensions and public spending

Writing in The Times, IFS director, Paul Johnson looks at the consequences for public spending of having an ageing population and the cost of government spending on state pensions and public sector pensions.

Find out more
Alt Image

The Barnett formula, business rates and lessons for further tax devolution

The devolved governments – particularly Scotland’s – may soon find themselves raising and keeping more of their own tax revenues. But the Barnett formula, which aims at providing the same pounds-per-person change in funding for the devolved governments as is the case in England, looks set to stay in place. A new IFS report, funded by the ESRC, looks at how the Barnett formula interacts with business rates (a tax that is already fully devolved to Scotland and Northern Ireland), and the lessons that can be learned for further tax devolution. It finds there are flaws that need to be avoided when additional taxes are devolved.

Find out more

What is welfare spending?

The government has started to send out information on how tax revenue is spent to individuals who pay income tax or National Insurance contributions. It has broken down spending into a number of categories. The biggest of these is "welfare", which represents a quarter of total spending. State pensions also appear as a separate category, accounting for 12% of spending. In this observation we look at what counts as pension and welfare spending, and offer some alternative breakdowns.

Find out more