In the lead up to the Autumn Budget 2017, the Institute for Fiscal Studies will present its latest assessment of the UK’s current fiscal position, the Government’s stated fiscal targets, and the constraints within which Chancellor Philip Hammond is operating, at a public briefing on Monday 30 October.Find out more
Higher inflation means more pain for households from benefit freeze, less gain from £12,500 personal allowance
This morning the Office for National Statistics announced that inflation in the year to September was 3.0%. Because the September inflation figure is used to uprate benefit levels and tax thresholds the following April, this number has implications for the real cut resulting from the four year benefits freeze and the generosity of the Conservative commitment to raise the personal allowance to £12,500. This observation discusses those implications.Find out more
Low-income households increasingly exposed to rent increases
The rented sector is growing. New IFS research finds that the proportion of people in Great Britain living in private rented accommodation has more than doubled since the mid-1990s. Over the same period, average private rents have risen by 33% in real terms. In recent years, low-income tenants have also been affected by substantial cuts to housing benefit , which are currently saving the exchequer around £3 billion per year. The net result is that paying rent now uses up an average of 28% of the (non-HB) income of low-income private renters. This is up from 21% in the mid 1990s. Reforms in the pipeline mean that, if rents continue to rise, support for housing costs will fall further and further behind the cost of housing.Find out more
New higher loan repayment threshold is a big giveaway to graduates
On Sunday, the Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the income threshold above which graduates start making repayments on their student loans would be increased from £21,000 to £25,000 for all those who started university after 2012, and that the cap on tuition fees at English universities would be frozen at its current level of £9,250. This briefing note examines the impact on graduates, public finances and universities.Find out more
How much would it really cost to write off student debt?
Amid continuing debate over university tuition fees there remains confusion over some important numbers. This Observation looks at the costs involved in some of the policies that have recently been proposed.Find out more
Directory of longitudinal population studies launched
IFS has launched a new searchable directory of Low and Middle Income country Longitudinal Population Studies. Developed on behalf of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Wellcome Trust, it aims to provide a valuable resource for researchers, funders and those interested in understanding changing socio-economic and health circumstances and to enhance opportunities for international and interdisciplinary research collaboration.Find out more
Public sector pay: still time for restraint?
The government is considering easing the current restraint on the pay of public sector workers. It had previously announced in 2015 that public sector pay scales would only increase by an average of 1% per year up to and including 2019–20. This briefing note describes the trade-offs faced by the government when deciding how to set public sector pay.Find out more