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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.

The labour market in early 2017: employment rate flat and real earnings growth stalled

This election briefing note provides key information on the UK labour market in recent years, and summarises the challenges in the labour market facing the next government. It uses up-to-date data to understand how the labour market has performed in recent years and how it might continue to evolve over the course of the next parliament.

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The impact of tax and benefit reforms on household incomes

This Briefing Note, produced in advance of the 2017 Election, analyses the impact of tax and benefit changes since May 2015 on the incomes of different kinds of households. We look both at reforms already implemented, and those planned by the current government. This is the first in a series of election outputs. IFS Election 2017 analysis is being produced with funding from the Nuffield Foundation as part of its work to ensure public debate in the run-up to the General Election is informed by independent and rigorous evidence.

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Election battleground in the playground?

School funding in England has shot up the political agenda in recent months and could well be a major battleground at the upcoming general election. In this observation, we set out what current government plans imply for spending on schools in England, what each of the main parties has said to date and the potential implications of freezing school spending in real-terms after the election.

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So many choices – but none is easy

General elections ought to be moments for confronting difficult choices. We face more than our fair share of those at the moment, but we must not let the inevitable focus on Brexit blind us to some of the other choices we face. At the heart of those choices is one over the size and the shape of the state that we want, and how to pay for it. This is a question which politicians always duck, but collectively we can’t keep on avoiding it writes IFS Director Paul Johnson in The Times.

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National standards, local risks: the geography of local authority funded social care

In new research, we examine the extent to which the level of LA social care spending per adult varied around England in 2015–16, and the extent to which these spending differences correlated with local demographic and socio-economic characteristics, and assessed local relative spending needs for adult social care. We also consider how social care spending changed between 2009–10 and 2015–16, and find that 1 in 10 councils have cut adult social care spending by more than a quarter.

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Significant cuts to two parts of the benefit system phased in from April

This week will see the introduction of significant cuts to the generosity of two parts of the working-age benefits system. These will affect some new recipients of employment and support allowance, and any family receiving tax credits or universal credit who has either a newly born first child or a newly born third or subsequent child. The restriction to new claims or new births means that the changes will not result in existing claimants seeing their benefit income fall. But in the long run, these are substantial cuts: together they are expected to reduce government spending by over £5 billion a year in the long run.

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Budget 2017: analysis and explainer videos

Slides and recordings from the IFS post-Budget briefing are available, along with short explainer videos and other materials on our Budget 2017 page.

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