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.

Budget: If forecasts prove correct we'll be worse off and government debt will be higher for longer

"Increased borrowing and weaker economic growth is not a nice mix. If these forecasts prove correct we will be worse off and government debt will remain higher for longer. And in the end of course someone – perhaps the current younger generation – will have to pay for that." Carl Emmerson, IFS Deputy Director, provides an initial reaction to the Autumn 2017 Budget statement.

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Options for reducing the interest rate on student loans and reintroducing maintenance grants

In October, the Prime Minister called for an inquiry into the student loan system for higher education (HE). In this briefing note, we focus on two of the more unpopular features of the current system. We explore government options for reducing the interest rates charged on student loans and for reintroducing living-cost grants – which do not have to be repaid – for students from lower-income families.

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Orazio Attanasio to be Econometric Society President in 2020

Orazio Attanasio, Research Director of IFS and Professor of Economics at University College London, has been elected Second Vice-President of the Econometric Society. He will be First Vice-President in 2019, and President in 2020. Orazio is Co-Director of the ESRC Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy (CPP) at IFS.

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How can we level the playing field between young and old?

In an article in today's Times, IFS director Paul Johnson examines the economic challenges facing young people in the UK and possible ways the chancellor might address inter-generational inequalities.

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Wages, labour market policy and the safety net

This conference was held in October, jointly run by IFS and the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics. The academic organisers were Richard Blundell, Rui Costa, Hilary Hoynes, Robert Joyce, Stephen Machin and Jim Ziliak. Presentations from the conference are available online.

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Recessions, income inequality and the role of the tax and benefit system

In this report, we seek to understand why past recessions have had such different effects on income inequality. We also examine the potential impact of the next labour market downturn on the distribution of household incomes.

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Is our tax system fair? It depends...

The question of whether our tax system is fair is at the heart of many of our public debates and discussions of whether ‘the rich’ or companies are paying their fair share are regularly in, or underlying. news headlines. These are important questions. If we want to ensure that we can raise the revenues to pay for the public goods and services that we all want, we need to be able to have sensible debates about how much tax we raise, who we raise it from and how we spend it. Helen Miller explores some of the issues.

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