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.
Since its foundation in the 1960s, the IFS has been studying developments in the UK's tax and social security system. This continues to be a core part of the Institute's work, making a particularly important contribution to public debate around the government's annual set pieces of the Budget and Pre-Budget Report, and the Institute's own Green Budget. Research at the IFS concentrates on describing and analysing changes and proposed changes to the tax and social security system, and in using large cross-sectional household datasets to model the impact of reforms on individuals' incomes and behaviour. Below, we present specific projects that researchers at the IFS have worked on in recent years, although the constant need to maintain the Institute's tax and benefit model means that IFS researchers are familiar with almost all areas of personal tax and social security in the UK.
Monitoring the impact of changes to the Local Housing Allowance system of Housing Benefit: Interim report. Summary of main findings.
Christina Beatty, Ian Cole, Ryan Powell, Richard Crisp, Mike Brewer, James Browne, Carl Emmerson, Robert Joyce, Peter Kemp, Suzanne Hall and Isabella Pereira
Interim report for the DWP
The impact of Local Housing Allowance reforms on entitlements, rents and property type for new claimants
Chapter from the interim report on Local Housing Allowance for the DWP
Last week the Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs that he was determined to “deal with” the “problem of deeply discounted alcohol in supermarkets and other stores” and said that the Government was considering the results of a consultation into a proposed minimum unit price for alcohol. In this observation, IFS researchers consider the merits of such a policy and argue that taxing alcoholic drinks on the basis of their alcohol content, with higher tax rates on stronger than weaker drinks, would be more effective at targeting those drinking above recommended levels than would a minimum alcohol price.
With exactly one month to go until the Budget, IFS and the Institute for Government are holding a joint event on how tax policy might be better made. In this observation, Paul Johnson, IFS director, reflects on why we still have a long way to go in designing a more coherent tax system and why the current policymaking process may be partly to blame.
In a speech in Bedford today, the Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband, has proposed reintroducing a 10% income tax rate on a narrow band of income, to be paid for by a new ‘mansion tax’ on residential properties worth more than £2 million. In this observation, IFS researchers explain why there are better alternatives to both of these policies that would have similar distributional effects.
In October last year, the government announced a significant change to its plan to localise Council Tax Benefit starting in April 2013. Why was such a significant change announced to a policy two years after it was first announced and less than six months before councils will have to implement it?
The Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill proposes to cap the annual increases in most working-age benefits at 1% in cash terms in 2014-15 and 2015-16, in addition to the 1% cap on increases already confirmed for 2013-14. This observation examines the effects of this proposal on incomes and work incentives, and puts this in the broader context of trends during the recession and subsequent fiscal tightening
Browse publications & research
Started: 01 January 2013
Started: 01 January 2013
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Started: 11 April 2011
Started: 01 November 2010
An IFS economist advised a “Citizens Jury” on the welfare system, including basic facts and important issues about its purpose and structure.
Our ERA analysis contributed to the evaluation literature and informed the Government about the validity of the experimental findings.
Proposals by IFS researchers to simplify the benefit system and strengthen the incentives for low-skilled adults to work have attracted the attention of Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
IFS evaluated the Pathways to Work programme. This work proved key to the policy debate about how to get disability benefit claimants in work.
The Mirrlees Review shows the importance IFS attaches to high quality empirical evidence in the design of tax and benefit system.
IFS researchers found that the In-Work Credit encouraged lone parents to leave benefit more quickly but did not increase work retention.
IFS researchers develop a model of the Mexican tax system that will be used by the Mexican Government analysts.
The IFS has made valuable contributions to the debate on VAT and its impact on the poor.
The IFS played a key role in informing the public during the 2010 election campaign. Our comments on the parties’ tax plans were quoted by the party leaders in their debates.
In light of Government objectives to increase environmental taxation, we investigate whether the UK tax system is becoming more or less ‘green’.
IFS researchers draw together lessons from behavioural economics for tax and benefit policy in a report aimed at policymakers.
IFS researchers and the World Bank plan to develop capacity and tools in developing countries for the comprehensive analysis of tax reforms
Changes to the benefit system recommended by IFS researchers have made working less than 16 hours a week more attractive to benefit recipients.
The IFS played a key role in the debate about who the tax and benefit changes in recent ‘Emergency Budget’ hit hardest.