In the UK, the IFS plays a leading role in informing the public debate and scrutinising government and opposition tax and spending policy decisions and proposals. David Phillips, an Associate Director at the IFS who works in both the TAXDEV centre and on devolved and local government, explained this role to a delegation of Tajiki parliamentarians and auditors tasked with scrutinising tax and spending in Tajikistan. He talked about the various types of work the IFS does, from immediate commentary to major programme evaluation to fundamental economic research, how it disseminates this to a range of audiences including parliament and the public, and the vital role both high quality data and independent sources of funding have in allowing us to do this work.
He also explained and discussed several recent pieces of work that exemplify this work: our recent NHS funding tool; analysis of the distributional impact of budgets; our assessment of the financial effects of business rates retention pilots; and work on the effects of 4-hour waiting time limits in hospital A&E departments.
This presentation was part of a week long study and peer-to-peer learning tour organised by DAI as part of their DfID-funded project to support parliamentary oversight of the public finance management process in the Tajikisan Parliament.