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.
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The IFS Green Budget suggests that, even relative to major planned cuts, Whitehall departments will underspend by more than £3 billion this year.
The result of the underspend is that the Government will borrow slightly less in 2011-12 (£2.9 billion) than the latest official forecast. We are also more optimistic about future tax receipts than the OBR, meaning that if the economy broadly evolves as the OBR expects then borrowing could be £9 billion lower in 2016-17 than the official forecast. But significant downside risks to the public finances, combined with long-term pressures from an ageing population, suggest that the Chancellor has little scope for a significant permanent fiscal loosening relative to current plans.
The risks to our central forecast are very much on the downside. Should the Eurozone break up, or the economy do much worse than forecast for other reasons, then future borrowing would be increased and one - or both - of the Chancellor's fiscal targets would be broken.
The case for a significant short-term fiscal stimulus to boost the economy is stronger than it was a year ago. There seems little prospect that it would prompt an offsetting monetary tightening in the present climate. But a small loosening would be likely to deliver only a small boost to the economy, while a big one might risk undermining investor confidence.
We are delighted to have produced this year's Green Budget in collaboration with Oxford Economics. We are also very grateful to the Economic and Social Research Council for supporting this work and for funding much of the day-to-day research at IFS that underpins the analysis in this report.
Presentations from the event:
View all IFS Press Releases in the series
Recent IFS Press Releases
Independent Scotland would face tougher long-run fiscal challenge than the UK as a whole
An independent Scotland would require a significant cut in spending or increase in taxes, over and above that already announced by the UK government, in order to put their long-term public finances onto a sustainable footing.
Since 2008 food spending fails to keep pace with rising food prices and nutritional quality of calories falls / Long term decline in calorie purchases despite increase in calories from eating out, snacks and soft drinks
These are the key headlines from two new pieces of research published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies and due to be presented today as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science.