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Public spending and finance

We conduct ongoing analysis of the outturns of, and outlook for, the public finances. Our work in this area assesses the records of successive governments, and looks at forecasts for government revenues and spending (overall and in specific areas), with the aim of informing the public debate.

We conduct timely analysis of issues related to budgets, spending reviews, and elections. Our website provides data and useful background information on historic trends and recent issues relating to public spending and the public finances.

IFS research also examines topics related to the public finances in more depth. For example, recent papers have reflected on the Brexit vote, considered the fiscal challenges and opportunities for an independent Scotland, and explored international comparisons of the public finances in the Great Recession.

Public spending and finance

Past event
IFS researchers presented their analysis of the main party manifestos at a press briefing event on Friday 26 May (postponed from the original date of Tuesday 23 May due to events in Manchester).
Report
This report examines both the direct and indirect effects of Brexit on the UK’s public finances, based on a comprehensive review of studies analysing the short- and long- term economic effects of Brexit.

Contacts

Contact IFS on 020 7291 4800 or mailbox@ifs.org.uk

Rowena Crawford
Associate Director
Thomas Pope
Research Economist
David Phillips
Associate Director
( 342 results found )
Observation
The Office for National Statistics has announced that it will be revising the treatment of student loans in the public finances. This is a sensible move as it aligns the accounting treatment more closely with economic reality. Even though it makes no difference to the long-run cost of Higher ...
Observation
Following the provisional local government finance settlement for 2019–20, we look at how the funding cuts made over the four years between 2015–16 and 2019–20 are set to vary around the country.
Report
The IFS Green Budget 2018, in association with Citi, ICAEW and the Nuffield Foundation, is edited by Carl Emmerson, Christine Farquharson and Paul Johnson, and copy-edited by Judith Payne. The report looks at the issues and challenges facing Chancellor Philip Hammond as he prepares for his Budget ...
Book chapter
Ross Campbell and Martin Wheatcroft
In advance of the progress report expected with the 2018 Autumn Budget, this Green Budget chapter provides an overview of the assets owned by the UK public sector and discusses how the Balance Sheet Review can be used to improve the utilisation of public assets and the prospects for a comprehensive ...
Book chapter
This Green Budget chapter sets out the context for the choices facing the Chancellor, considers the necessary trade-offs and describes some of the possible implications for public service spending.
Book chapter
Ross Campbell and Martin Wheatcroft
This Green Budget chapter considers how the evolving defence and security position may affect defence resources and spending, and the pressure that this could put on the public finances.
Book chapter
In this chapter, we set out the current state of the public finances, the outlook for the future, and some of the key economic and policy risks to the public finances in the medium and long term.
Report
English local government finance is part way through a series of major changes that will see its focus shift from being based on redistribution according to spending needs, towards more emphasis on providing financial incentives to tackle needs and increase local revenue-raising capacity. In this ...
Briefing note
English local government finance is part way through a series of major changes that will see its focus shift from being based on redistribution according to spending needs, towards more emphasis on providing financial incentives to tackle needs and boost local revenue-raising capacity. However, ...
Newsletter
In this article for the Scottish Experts Panel monthly newsletter on constitutional, financial and Brexit-related issues, David Phillips, looks at the role the Barnett Formula could play in replacing funding currently provided by EU programmes.