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.
Putting in place policies which foster economic growth is a top priority for any government. Given current circumstances it is not surprising that the focus is on how to promote growth in the short term.
It has been reported that the education secretary is planning radical reforms to GCSEs in England. With this year's GCSE results out tomorrow, IFS researchers examine the desirability of these potential reforms and whether they would actually represent a substantial change compared with the current system. The evidence also raises a third and more fundamental question: what are GCSEs for?
When all primary school pupils in Newham and Durham were offered free school meals, attainment levels rose. Pupils in these areas made between 4 and 8 weeks more progress over a two year period than similar pupils in other areas.
Vicky Brown, Claire Crawford, Lorraine Dearden, Ellen Greaves, Sarah Kitchen, Colin Payne, Susan Purdon and Emily Tanner
These evaluation reports analyse the impact, delivery and value for money of a two-year pilot that tested two different approaches to extending access to free school meals (FSM).
This presentation was given at HMRC on 24 July 2012 to an audience of more than 80 civil servants from across government departments.
The OBR's second fiscal sustainability report, published today, reminds us of the significant challenges which we face as a result of the spending pressures created by population ageing and a likely loss of tax revenues from motoring and north sea oil and gas companies. We need to respond to this analysis by planning now for the changes to spending and taxes that will be required.
Browse publications & research
Started: 19 November 2012
Started: 01 October 2012
Started: 01 September 2012
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.