There’s much uncertainty about a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, but what we do know would be bad for living standards

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Public Finances and the Economy

Big change, means big uncertainty. Especially when that big change is being brought to the complex beast that is a major developed country in the 21st Century. To complicate the task further, in the case of Brexit Britain while we know big change is coming, we don’t know what form that big change will actually … Continued

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The living standards cost of the OBR’s newfound productivity pessimism

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Public Finances and the Economy

Rumours of attempts within the Cabinet to remove Philip Hammond may or may not be wide of the mark. But given the recent steady flow of disappointing economic data, the Chancellor could be forgiven for wanting to walk before he’s pushed. Last week’s PMI data and today’s short-term indicators from the ONS both suggested that … Continued

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Inflation afflictions

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Public Finances and the Economy

The story of the last 12 months is that inflation has risen rapidly and eroded people’s living standards. From 0.8 per cent in June 2016 inflation is now 2.6 per cent. Despite the small welcome fall last month current projections suggest it will remain around this level for the rest of the year. The rise … Continued

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The end of austerity?

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Public Finances and the Economy

  Austerity is over, The Times tell us. Both the PM’s last chief of staff and her new one agree it’s gone too far. These are big shifts in language, on a subject that has dominated politics since 2010. But is austerity really over? And what are the crunch tests for deciding if the world … Continued

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How do the main parties’ fiscal policies compare?

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Public Finances and the Economy

The parties’ manifestos cover a lot of ground. But what would their fiscal policies mean for the country? As we set out in an earlier report, boring-sounding rules about the deficit matter hugely for the country’s public debt trajectory, the parties’ delivery of services and tax and benefit policies, and for accommodating coming demographic challenges. … Continued

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Labour’s manifesto: let’s focus on the big choices not the small change

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Public Finances and the Economy

Labour’s manifesto is a big deal, in the simple sense that it has a lot of stuff in it. Nationalising this, nationalising that. Scrapping tuition fees. Borrowing billions for investment. Higher taxes, from corporation tax to financial transactions and on those earning over £80,000. More spending on health, social care, schools, and childcare. Oh, and … Continued

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