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Budget 2010
Date started: 15 March 2010

Briefing and analysis

The Chancellor delivered his Budget statement on Wednesday 24th March 2010.

On Thursday 25th March, the day following the Budget, the Institute for Fiscal Studies held a lunchtime briefing. Download presentations here:

Useful publications and resources

Green Budget 2010

The IFS Green Budget 2010 assesses key questions that the Chancellor has to confront in drawing up his 2010 Budget statement. The areas covered are fiscal policy, fiscal stimulus and the consumer, options for fiscal tightening: tax increases and benefit cuts, public spending and the public finances, public sector pay and pensions, support for research and innovation, potential cuts to public services and reforming the UK's fiscal institutions . Published in collaboration with Barclays Capital and Barclays Wealth, the Green Budget also discusses the UK's productive capacity, the economic outlook and the public finances and sterling.

Public finances

Fiscal facts

IFS Observations

Our "observations" allow us to provide an immediate reaction to policy changes and debate, without issuing a full press release. Recent observations include the following:

  • Taxes and elections: are they by any chance related? Chancellor Alistair Darling has warned us not to expect a giveaway in the Budget, while his Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liam Byrne, has reassured us that the Government could halve the deficit by 2013-14 without announcing any further tax increases. If both statements prove correct - no pre-election tax giveaway and no new post-election tax takeaway - then this would break the pattern of the last four general elections.
  • Tougher than Thatcher? "Whoever wins the election, Labour or Conservative, is going to have to cut spending. That is not something that Margaret Thatcher actually did. So tougher than Margaret Thatcher." So said George Osborne on the Today Programme this morning - and the numbers by and large bear him out.
  • Marriage, children's outcomes and tax policy The issue of marriage and family life looks set to be a key election battleground. In recent weeks, the Conservative Party's policy on supporting marriage in the tax system has been under the spotlight. A Green Paper on family policy is due to be released by the Government next week. Recently-published IFS analysis, and two new projects funded by the Nuffield Foundation, hope to shed light on some of these issues.

Treasury documentation

The Treasury's Budget 2010 page links to previous and current Budget documentation.

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Impact on Society
In light of Government objectives to increase environmental taxation, we investigate whether the UK tax system is becoming more or less ‘green’.
Public spending analysis stokes public debate and prompts increased transparency over government’s plans for spending cuts.