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Commentary

The Institute publishes a series of 'Observations', which use our research to explain the facts behind topical policy debates. IFS staff also publish articles in a variety of national newspapers, blogs and specialist magazines to help inform the public debate.

For reports and academic publications, see our publications page.

Our press releases and public finance bulletins can be found on our News page.

Latest Observations

Observation
Since 2000, all households containing a person aged 75 or over have been entitled to receive a free TV licence, paid for by the government. From June 2020 onwards, the government will no longer provide the funds for these free TV licences and the BBC therefore has to decide whether to continue to ...
Observation
Pension freedoms gave people much more flexibility over how to use their savings in retirement. But very few now purchase annuities in order to guarantee an income. We find that an important reason could be that people underestimate how long they will live.
Observation
Today Amber Rudd, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, announced that the ‘two-child limit’ in tax credits and Universal Credit will not apply to children born before the policy was implemented in April 2017. This tackles the ‘retrospective’ application of the policy that had ...

Recent newspaper articles

Newspaper article
The value of the pound has changed a lot over the past three years - making us all a little poorer. Back in December 2015, £1 would buy you about €1.40. Today it will get you nearer €1.14. It has suffered a similar fate against most major currencies, losing about 15% of its value over that ...
Newspaper article
The present system of local government finance isn’t sustainable. Something is going to have to give.
Newspaper article
There are few concerns older than that with inequality. It's time to do something about it.