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Our goal at the Institute for Fiscal Studies is to promote effective economic and social policies by better understanding how policies affect individuals, families, businesses and the government's finances.

Over last 25 years the Treasury has been responsible for controlling government spending, setting fiscal rules and the overall control framework, and ensuring that departments stay within spending limits. In this report, we use data on spending plans and out-turns to see what they can tell us about the efficacy of spending control under different regimes.
Between 2009-10 and 2017-18, total school spending per pupil in England fell by about 8% in real terms, which compares with about 5% in Wales.
In an article in the Times, IFS Director Paul Johnson discusses the problems with business rates and the arguments for reforming rather than abolishing them.
To mark the BBC’s coverage of the NHS’s 70th birthday in July 2018, researchers from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Health Foundation, The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust have come together for the first time, using combined expertise to shed light on some of the big questions on the NHS.


Upcoming event
Date 03 - 04 September 2018 | 09:00 - 18:00
Location Europa Conference Room (main entrance: Alcalá, 48)
Availablity Places available
The second Annual Research Conference of Banco de España will be held in their Madrid headquarters, and is being jointly organised with IFS.
Upcoming event
Date 14 - 15 September 2018 | 09:00 - 17:00
Location Downing College, Cambridge
Availablity Places available
Every two years, IFS holds a residential conference, aiming to facilitate high-level knowledge exchange between practitioners, policymakers and academics on key areas of policy and practice. This year's conference will look at tax and industrial strategy.
Upcoming event
Date 27 September 2018 | 18:30 - 20:00
Location The Royal Society
Availablity Places available
We’re pleased to announce that Professor Janet Currie will give the 2018 IFS Annual Lecture. Professor Currie is the Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University, and Chair of their Department of Economics.

Publications and research

This new IFS report, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, examines recent trends in the distribution of household incomes in the UK. This includes looking at changes not only in average living standards but also in household income inequality and measures of income poverty and deprivation.
There is a current debate about whether the definition of self-employment should be aligned across tax and employment law. At present there is a rather complex situation – illustrated by a recent court case involving Pimlico Plumbers – in which an individual can be deemed a worker in employment law but self-employed in tax law.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced a ‘70th birthday present’ for the NHS, pledging average real annual increases of 3.4% per year for the next five years. One challenge for the Government is where the money to pay for this will come from.
Increases in the minimum wage boost the hourly wages of workers previously paid below the new minimum, but the impact on their living standards is less clear. This is because their living standards will be influenced by a range of additional factors such as the number of hours worked per week, taxes paid on their earnings, the benefits and other income sources they receive and the incomes of other people in their household.
This new observation provides an assessment of the SNP’s Sustainable Growth Commission’s proposals. Commendably, rather than duck the issue, they set out how they would approach the challenging public finance position an independent Scotland would start life with. Their proposals imply another decade of the sort of restraint on public spending that Scotland is currently experiencing. If this is austerity, then austerity would be extended under the Commission’s proposals
In a new IFS briefing note, we look at how council spending on adult social care and other services changed between 2009-10 and 2017-18. We find that despite these recent increases, spending was budgeted be 3% lower in 2017–18 than in 2009–10. As the population has grown over this period, this is equivalent to 9% lower per person.

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