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Briefing notes

We produce short briefing notes on current policy issues, drawing on our expertise and research findings.
Briefing note
Rowena Crawford, Carl Emmerson, Soumaya Keynes and Gemma Tetlow
This election briefing note describes the government’s fiscal targets and the three main parties’ proposed fiscal stances.
Briefing note
In this briefing note we analyse the Smith Commission's published proposals.
Briefing note
James Browne, Andrew Hood and Robert Joyce
This briefing note updates previous IFS projections of how these poverty measures are likely to evolve in Northern Ireland and the UK as a whole between 2013–14 and 2020–21, taking into account recent policy announcements and revisions to macroeconomic forecasts
Briefing note
Andrew Hood and Laura Oakley
This briefing provides an overview of the evolution of the British benefits system over the last half-century, describing both long-run trends and more recent changes.
Briefing note
This briefing note focuses on the important question of how devolved taxes should interact with the block grant and the Barnett formula.
Briefing note
Daniel Chandler and Gemma Tetlow
In this briefing note we use data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) to describe patterns of employment and self-employment among people aged between 50 and 74 in England in 2012–13.
Briefing note
Lorraine Dearden, Louis Hodge, Wenchao (Michelle) Jin, Alexander Levine and Laura Williams
This research looks at the impact of changes to financial support for students in higher education
Briefing note
In this briefing note, we estimate the value of employer-provided pensions and compare their value between public and private sector workers, and over time. We then assess what effect the incorporation of the value of workplace pensions has on the estimated differential between remuneration in the ...
Briefing note
This report is an updated analysis of the personal tax and benefit reforms implemented, or due to be implemented, by the UK’s coalition government from when it was elected in May 2010 up to and including April 2015.
Briefing note
David Phillips and Gemma Tetlow
The potential consequences of independence for taxation, public services, and the welfare system in Scotland are a key battleground in the ongoing campaigning ahead of the independence referendum this September. This briefing note provides a summary of the key findings of recent IFS research on ...
Briefing note
David Phillips and Gemma Tetlow
This report assessed the fiscal implications of policies proposed by the Scottish Government in its Independence White Paper in the run up to the 2014 referendum.
Briefing note
Carl Emmerson, Soumaya Keynes and Gemma Tetlow
This Briefing Note summarises the characteristics of those who are most likely to be affected by announced changes to the defined contribution (DC) pensions system.
Briefing note
Daniel Chandler and Richard Disney
While house prices are on a general upward trend, exactly how fast house prices are increasing and whether they have attained their previous peak are less clear. This briefing note is designed to shed some light on these issues.
Briefing note
In this briefing note, we combine various data sources to provide for the first time a consistent picture on how the size and composition of the public sector workforce has changed over the past 50 years.
Briefing note
James Browne, Andrew Hood and Robert Joyce
This briefing note updates previous IFS projections of child and working-age poverty in Northern Ireland and the UK as a whole from 2012-13 to 2017-18, and in 2020-21.
Briefing note
In this briefing note, we document how the food purchases of households in the UK have changed over the recent period of recession and food price rises.
Briefing note
Rachel Griffith, Rodrigo Lluberas and Melanie Lührmann
There has been a marked increase in body weight across much of the developed world. This has taken place, even though data suggest that there has not been an increase in calories consumed. This leads to a puzzle. If calories are declining, why are people gaining weight?
Briefing note
This Briefing Note looks at the way that tax revenue in Scotland is currently delivered and at the reform options that would be open to an independent Scotland.
Briefing note
Benjamin Deaner and David Phillips
This briefing note aims to describe the patterns of public service expenditure in Scotland and to set out a number of issues for the future.
Briefing note
There has been a growing debate about how the benefits system may be affected if Scotland becomes independent. This briefing note aims to describe the patterns of benefit expenditure in Scotland and set out a number of issues for the future.