Facts and figures about UK taxes, benefits and public spending.
Income distribution, poverty and inequality.
Analysing government fiscal forecasts and tax and spending.
Analysis of the fiscal choices an independent Scotland would face.
Case studies that give a flavour of the areas where IFS research has an impact on society.
Reforming the tax system for the 21st century.
A peer-reviewed quarterly journal publishing articles by academics and practitioners.
This general election briefing note looks at how overall levels of borrowing and debt changed between 1997 and 2010. Some discussion is, necessarily, included of trends in taxation and spending; however, readers who are particularly interested in the levels of taxation and spending during Labour's period in office may also wish to refer to two other notes in this series of IFS Election 2010 Briefing Notes. Section 2 describes how the UK public finances evolved between 1997 and 2007 (prior to the financial crisis). It then compares this to the pattern observed during the period of Conservative governments from 1979 to 1997 and to the trend seen in other industrial countries. Section 3 carries out the same analysis, but for the period between 2007 and 2010, when the financial crisis and associated recession adversely affected the public finances of the UK and of many other countries.
View all IFS Briefing Notes in the series
Recent IFS Briefing Notes
Price-based measures to reduce alcohol consumption
This briefing note considers the effectiveness of the proposed minimum unit price of alcohol.
Better Budgets: making tax policy work
This Briefing Note discusses ways of improving the tax system.
Autumn Statement 2012: more fiscal pain to come?
This briefing not examined the outlook for the public finances in the run-up to the 2012 Autumn Statement.