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Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson

Director

Paul has been Director of the IFS since January 2011. He is also currently visiting professor in the Department of Economics at University College London. Paul has worked and published extensively on the economics of public policy, with a particular focus on income distribution, public finances, pensions, tax, social security, education and climate change. He was awarded a CBE for services to the social sciences and economics in 2018. As well as a previous period of work at the IFS his career has included spells at HM Treasury, the Department for Education and the FSA. Between 2004 and 2007 he was deputy head of the Government Economic Service. Paul is currently also a member of the committee on climate change,  the Banking Standards Board and of the executive committee of the Royal Economic Society. He was an editor of the Mirrlees Review of the UK tax system.

Reports

Report
The last 25 years have seen two periods of public expenditure restraint in the UK (the 1990s and the 2010s) and one period of increased spending (between 2000 and 2010). Over that whole time, the Treasury has been responsible for controlling government spending, setting fiscal rules and the overall ...
Report
To mark the BBC’s coverage of the NHS’s 70th birthday in July 2018, researchers from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Health Foundation, The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust have come together for the first time, using combined expertise to shed light on some of the big questions on the ...

News and comment

Newspaper article
A new poverty measure combines elements of the current absolute and relative measures by comparing incomes to a rolling three-year average of median incomes. So how many people are in poverty in the UK? Just over a fifth of the population, a fraction which appears to have changed little over the ...
Observation
The 2008 financial crisis precipitated what has proved to be a big and permanent hit to the size and structure of the UK economy. It affects our incomes and the tough choices we face today.

Presentations

Presentation
Presentation at the launch event for our report, held at the Institute for Government.
Presentation
IFS Director Paul Johnson's presentation from the IFS 2018 Spring Statement briefing.
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Newspaper article
A new poverty measure combines elements of the current absolute and relative measures by comparing incomes to a rolling three-year average of median incomes. So how many people are in poverty in the UK? Just over a fifth of the population, a fraction which appears to have changed little over the ...
Observation
The 2008 financial crisis precipitated what has proved to be a big and permanent hit to the size and structure of the UK economy. It affects our incomes and the tough choices we face today.
Newspaper article
When it comes to big decisions around Brexit and independence it is dangerous to pretend that the political choice does not require some serious economic choices too, says IFS Director Paul Johnson in The Times.
Newspaper article
We have have a rather oblique and expensive way of instilling general skills at university. It is probably one reason why those from less advantaged backgrounds still earn so much less than their better-off peers doing exactly the same course.
Broadcast
Paul Johnson considers what principles a fair social care system should enshrine and what likelihood there is that policies to give effect to them will be implemented.
Newspaper article
Two weighty fiscal reports were published last Tuesday. Neither document makes for terribly comfortable reading.
Observation
Governments are responsible for spending huge amounts of public money. Effective control of that spending is essential if governments are to meet their fiscal objectives, deliver their desired policy outcomes, and achieve value for money for the taxpayer. A new IFS report, published today as part ...
Presentation
Presentation at the launch event for our report, held at the Institute for Government.
Report
The last 25 years have seen two periods of public expenditure restraint in the UK (the 1990s and the 2010s) and one period of increased spending (between 2000 and 2010). Over that whole time, the Treasury has been responsible for controlling government spending, setting fiscal rules and the overall ...
Newspaper article
It's important to think about the overall effects of taxes. Business rates bring in a handy £30 billion a year for government - abolishing them won't help local shops