Briefing Note (BN170)

Post-election austerity: parties’ plans compared

Date: 23 April 2015
Publisher: Institute for Fiscal Studies
ISBN: 978-1-909463-88-2
DOI: 10.1920/bn.ifs.2015.00170

In this election briefing note we compare and contrast the fiscal plans laid out by the four political parties that are widely predicted to win the most seats in the forthcoming UK general election: the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party (SNP). All these parties are proposing reductions in borrowing relative to current levels, though they appear to differ in what they think a suitable medium term level of borrowing is and how quickly they wish to get to that level of borrowing (and, therefore, in how quickly they want debt to fall).

The parties also differ in the extent to which they think that a borrowing reduction should be achieved through tax rises, cuts to social security spending, or cuts to spending on public services. In this note we compare the composition of the future tightening planned by the parties – to the extent that we know what their plans are. We also draw attention to what has been left unsaid.

Watch a recording of the briefing at which the note was launched here: