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Observations

In these frequent and topical observations, we comment on policy issues related to our research programme. Sign up to receive email alerts when new observations are posted, or scroll down to subscribe to one of our RSS feeds.
Observation
Following seven years of spending cuts following the financial crisis and associated record deficit, there is a growing call for the government to “end austerity”. Yet current plans imply more spending cuts as the government looks to reduce the deficit further. This observation – and an ...
Observation
The government has recently consulted on the structure of alcohol taxes. This consultation focuses on two issues: (i) the introduction of a new still cider and perry band that would increase the tax on products below 7.5% ABV, and (ii) the introduction of a new still wine band that would reduce the ...
Observation
Chris Belfield and Luke Sibieta
In this observation, we examine the main parties’ proposals for spending on 16-18 education in England, which includes students in School Sixth Forms, Sixth Form Colleges and Further Education Colleges. This area of education receives considerably less attention in public debate than other areas ...
Observation
On 30 May the SNP published their manifesto for the upcoming UK parliamentary elections. In it they set out a target of balancing the current budget by 2021–22 and plans for an increase in public spending over the next five years of around £120 billion relative to those set out in the March ...
Observation
The Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos all contained commitments to increase NHS spending over the next parliament. In this observation we set out what these commitments are likely to mean for the path of health spending in England going forwards, and put this in the context of ...
Observation
Chris Belfield and Luke Sibieta
In this observation, we detail what the commitments outlined in the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos on education spending would mean for the path of overall school spending in England and the prospects for continued reform of the school funding system.
Observation
Andrew Hood and Polly Simpson
Yesterday, the Conservative Party proposed changes to the rules governing who is eligible for government funding for social care, and backed away from a lifetime cap on care costs. In this observation, we discuss those changes and lay out their potential effects. Taking the population of people in ...
Observation
Andrew Hood, Robert Joyce and Tom Waters
The Liberal Democrat manifesto published today includes commitments to increase all rates of income tax by 1 percentage point as well as cancelling a number of significant benefit cuts and reversing others. In this observation we provide an overview of these proposals and compare them to the income ...
Observation
As part of its proposal to create a National Education Service, the Labour party has put forward plans to dramatically increase and reform childcare subsidies in England. Taken together, these changes would transform the childcare system in England: extending access to free childcare to more and ...
Observation
The Labour party is due to publish its June 2017 election manifesto later today. Below you will find detail on recent IFS analysis, which may help to contextualise and assess some of their policies.
Observation
Chris Belfield, Jack Britton and Laura van der Erve
The Labour party is due to publish its June 2017 election manifesto later today. Below you will find detail on recent IFS analysis, which may help to contextualise and assess some of their policies.
Observation
Today, the Labour party will announce that they would not implement planned corporation tax cuts and would reverse most of the cuts introduced since 2010. This would be the first time the main rate of the modern corporation tax in the UK had been increased. The policy could raise around £19 ...
Observation
This election observation details the education spending commitments and compares them to existing government plans.
Observation
The Labour party has promised to introduce free school meals for all primary school children, claiming that universal free lunches would remove stigma and ‘benefit the educational attainment and health of all children’. Previous IFS research concludes that providing school meals free of cost to ...
Observation
Paul Johnson, Robert Joyce and Barra Roantree
The Labour party has promised to introduce free school meals for all primary school children, claiming that universal free lunches would remove stigma and ‘benefit the educational attainment and health of all children’. Previous IFS research concludes that providing school meals free of cost to ...
Observation
Andrew Hood
You might have a different set of objectives when choosing how to uprate the state pension, and different objectives could lead to different choices. But whatever your objectives, neither the triple lock nor the double lock is the right answer.
Observation
You might have a different set of objectives when choosing how to uprate the state pension, and different objectives could lead to different choices. But whatever your objectives, neither the triple lock nor the double lock is the right answer.
Observation
Barra Roantree
From tomorrow, Scottish residents will for the first time be subject to a different income tax schedule from those resident elsewhere in the UK. This is because of the Scottish parliament’s decision to use recently devolved powers over income tax bands and rates for non-savings and non-dividend ...