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.
IFS researchers conduct ongoing analysis of the outturns of and outlook for the public finances. Our work in this area looks at forecasts of government revenues and spending (overall and on specific areas) and aims to inform public debate, particularly around the time of Budgets, Autumn Statements, Spending Reviews and Elections. Over many years we have kept track of the evolution of the public finances and how different governments have fared. A number of IFS publications have assessed the fiscal performance of past administrations.
The financial crisis and the economic damage associated with it opened up a structural hole in the public finances that, if left unaddressed, would be impervious to the economic recovery and would put public sector debt on an unsustainable path. The coalition Government faces a significant challenge to restore the public finances to better health. A comprehensive description of how the public finances evolved through the Great Recession can be found in Disease and cure in the UK: the fiscal impact of the crisis and the policy response.
This presentation was delivered on 18 October 2012 at an ESRC conference, 'Social mobility and Equality: early years, education and transition to the labour market'.
In his speech to the Conservative party conference today, the Chancellor of the Exchequer again stated an intention to reduce welfare expenditure by a further £10 billion per year by 2016–17. In this observation, IFS researchers analyse the suggested cuts.
This report examines cuts made to expenditure in Wales and considers some scenarios for how much local authorities may have to spend in the period up to 2020-1.
Spending by Welsh unitary authorities (UAs) is set to be 8.0% lower per person this year than in 2009-10 in real terms. Despite this significant cut the majority of the cuts implied by Government spending plans are still to come
The Government’s controversial reforms to higher education funding - involving an increase in the cap on tuition fees to £9,000 per year and the removal of most direct funding for universities - have this month been implemented. However, the new system is substantially more progressive than its predecessor, as the richest graduates are likely to repay ten times as much as the poorest, and would even pay back more than the value of what they borrowed. Here we summarise IFS research assessing who wins and who loses from these reforms.
Browse publications & research
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Started: 31 January 2012
Started: 01 January 2012
An IFS economist advised a “Citizens Jury” on the welfare system, including basic facts and important issues about its purpose and structure.
Past research into pension reform has contributed to evidence given to government on public service pensions.
Public spending analysis stokes public debate and prompts increased transparency over government’s plans for spending cuts.
IFS researchers have evaluated whether the temporary VAT cut was able to boost the economy effectively.
IFS researchers helped make a case against proposed cuts to public spending on science.
IFS arguments for independent official fiscal forecasts contributed to the government’s decision to set up an Office for Budget Responsibility.
IFS recommendations for presenting fiscal forecasts are being taken up by the new Office for Budget Responsibility.
Research told policymakers that, despite greater expenditure on health care, Americans are less healthy than their English counterparts.
IFS researchers assessed the government’s fiscal rules and advised policymakers as to how they could be made more credible.
We provided evidence to the Browne Review of higher education funding about the impact of a number of higher education finance reforms.
IFS researchers draw together lessons from behavioural economics for tax and benefit policy in a report aimed at policymakers.
We analysed the impact of the 2006 HE funding reforms and informed the surrounding debate.
IFS researchers have investigated whether it is possible to measure the distributional impact of changes to spending on public services.