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Budget 2005

Briefing and analysis

The Chancellor made his Budget statement on Wednesday 16th March 2005.

A press release with immediate analysis of the Chancellor's statement is available here.

On Thursday 17th March, the day following the Budget, the Institute for Fiscal Studies held a lunchtime briefing. This presentation provided an opportunity to hear a considered view of the Chancellor's announcements from Institute staff.

Slides can be downloaded here:

Useful publications

Green Budget 2005

The IFS Green Budget 2005 Given the doubts about the health of the public finances, is Gordon Brown in danger of breaking his fiscal rules? Are further tax increases required to pay for the Government's spending commitments? Published for the first time in collaboration with Morgan Stanley, the Green Budget also discusses the outlook for economic growth.

The IFS Green Budget assessed key questions that the Chancellor has to confront in drawing up his 2005 Budget statement.

Public finances

Since October 2002 IFS has produced monthly bulletins analysing the government's public finance figures. Recent figures make it more likely that the Golden Rule will be met over the current economic cycle. The path of the public finances going forward is of greater direct economic importance. Despite recent favourable corporation tax figures, doubts about the Treasury's medium-term forecasts remain.

Liberal Democrats' and Conservatives' proposals

The Liberal Democrats have announced details of their alternative Budget proposals. This press release sets out some initial analysis of the Liberal Democrats' tax proposals. We also produced an analysis of recent Conservative proposals about council tax reductions for some pensioners.

Fiscal facts

Our briefing notes, A survey of the UK tax system (Briefing Note 9, updated November 2004) and A survey of the UK benefit system (Briefing Note 13, updated November 2004) now include changes implemented after the 2003 Budget. New briefing notes include A survey of public spending in the UK (Briefing Note 43, updated September 2004), which provides an overview of public spending in the UK describing components of public spending and examining trends in expenditure.

Another briefing note, The government's fiscal rules, describes the government's two fiscal rules and discusses the uncertainty inherent in forecasting the public finances.