State crafting

Changes and challenges for managing the public finances

Wednesday 5 June 2024

Tax and spend are at the heart of every general election – understandably as they represent the most significant choices made by most governments. The size and shape of the state has changed substantially since 2010. Despite spending cuts and tax rises, public debt levels are up. Whoever wins the next election will have to … Continued

Game changer?

Assessing the Budget’s economic, and electoral, impact

Thursday 7 March 2024

The upcoming Spring Budget may be the last big fiscal event before the General Election, one of few chances for the government to set the terms of the economic debate. And with the government trailing heavily in the polls, and the economy entering a mild recession at the end of last year, the pressure is … Continued

Tax cuts today, spending cuts tomorrow?

How the Budget might shape the General Election and beyond

Wednesday 21 February 2024

An election is coming, and therefore so are tax cuts in the Budget on 6th March. But the size of those tax cuts are dependent on the amount of fiscal room for manoeuvre the Chancellor has. And their shape will reflect where his political and economic priorities lie. Plus tax cuts come in a context … Continued

Living standards
Economy and public finances
Political parties and elections

Turning a corner?

The political and economic outlook for a critical election year

Monday 8 January 2024

The worst of the cost of living crisis appears to be behind us, with inflation more than halving since its peak. But 2024 may not be plain sailing economically, and it certainly won’t be politically with an election in store. While wages are at last growing faster than prices, economic growth has flatlined while taxes, … Continued

Preparing the pitch

What to expect in the upcoming Autumn Statement

Monday 6 November 2023

The Chancellor has two just two more fiscal events in which to prepare the economic pitch for the upcoming General Election. The backdrop is a challenging and uncertain economic environment, alongside huge pressure on both public services and finances. With the Prime Minister making a virtue of the need to take tough decisions, the Chancellor … Continued

Enlightened economics

Lessons from Adam Smith on the economic challenges facing modern Britain

Wednesday 13 September 2023

Adam Smith was a leading political economy thinker of the Scottish enlightenment in the mid-late 18th century. But as the “Father of Capitalism” his pioneering work on free market economics has influenced politicians, philosophers and economists throughout the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries too. But modern Britain – as well as other advanced economies – … Continued

Into calmer waters?

Assessing Budget 2023

Thursday 16 March 2023

The UK has gone through four Chancellors, three Prime Ministers and entered a cost-of-living crisis in 500 days since the last Budget way back in October 2021. On 15 March, Jeremy Hunt will unveil his first Budget, hoping to signpost the UK economy’s way towards a new, calmer, phase of lower inflation and higher growth. … Continued

Back to basics Budget?

What Jeremy Hunt’s March Budget has in store

Monday 6 March 2023

2022 marked a tough year, with soaring inflation sparking a cost-of-living crisis and repeated government announcements to tackle it. And that was before the Autumn economic policy chaos. The economics and politics are now calmer. Inflation – and most importantly gas prices – is falling, and the Chancellor hopes to deliver a more ‘normal’ Budget … Continued

Under new management

Where will the new Prime Minister steer the UK economy?

Tuesday 1 November 2022

Britain is in the midst of a political and economic crisis, with four Chancellors and three Prime Ministers in four months. And with the latest political turmoil triggered by attempts to completely rewrite economic policy, the new Prime Minister is under intense pressure to demonstrate his economic credibility, calm the markets and reduce the pressure … Continued

What next?

The impact of Trussonomics, tax cuts and market turmoil

Thursday 29 September 2022

The last few days have seen a radical reshaping of the Government’s economic policy and a radical reaction from financial markets. Out have gone both Treasury orthodoxy and the legacy of the Johnson premiership, and in are lower taxes, higher borrowing – and higher borrowing costs as spooked markets respond. Will this new strategy boost … Continued

Chatting to Chancellors

Book launch for The Chancellors by Howard Davies, featuring former Chancellor George Osborne

Monday 30 May 2022

The nature of British economic policy, and the Treasury’s role in directing it, have ebbed and flowed over the past 25 years. Monetary policy was ceded to the Bank of England in 1997, but the Treasury then extended its grip over domestic policy. The last decade has seen it respond to two once-in-a-lifetime economic crises, … Continued

Event: waiting for Spring

Waiting for spring

Assessing the Chancellor’s Spring Statement

Thursday 24 March 2022

Britain entered 2022 with a recovery resilient to Omicron and tax revenues coming in billions higher than expected. But good news on the public finances has been matched by troubling news for family finances as inflation soared and living standards have been squeezed. The conflict in Ukraine has further clouded the UK’s economic outlook, as … Continued


Lessons for the UK

Tuesday 15 March 2022

Speech by Jared Bernstein, Member of the Council for Economic Advisors under President Biden, with response by Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves Joe Biden came into office with an ambitious economic plan for building back American prosperity after the pandemic – with policy objectives ranging from the renewal of infrastructure and greater childcare support, to more … Continued

Catch 2022

What does the end of a global pandemic and the start of a European conflict mean for Britain’s economic outlook?

Monday 14 March 2022

The end of the Covid economic crisis is finally in sight. But it has swiftly been replaced by a terrifying conflict in Europe that threatens lives in Ukraine and livelihoods far beyond its borders. The UK’s immediate post-Covid economy thankfully doesn’t include the lengthy dole queues that normally follow a recession. But it instead faces … Continued

Pressure points

Why the state is getting bigger and what we do about it

Thursday 10 February 2022

The UK that exits the pandemic has a bigger state than the one that went into it. The 2020s will bring further pressure for the state to grow or our tax revenues to shrink, including from our ageing society and net zero ambitions. But previous approaches to responding to such pressure – from shrinking the … Continued

Budgeting for Britain

What the Budget and Spending Review tell us about the Government’s economic strategy

Thursday 28 October 2021

Rishi Sunak has had to make a flurry of major fiscal announcements during his 18-months as Chancellor amidst the Covid-19 crisis. At last, with the worse of the crisis behind us, he will hope to be able to set-out an economic plan for post-pandemic Britain in his Budget and Spending Review next Wednesday. However, with … Continued

Nationally insured?

Analysing the Government’s tax-raising plan to fund health and social care

Wednesday 8 September 2021

Having promised a plan to reform social care and to not raise National Insurance in the 2019 General Election Manifesto, the Government has delivered on one promise, and broken the other, in spectacular fashion today. With over £30 billion worth of tax rises being announced in just six months, further funding for the NHS coming … Continued

The Chancellor’s Autumn crunch

Assessing the key economic decisions to come

Monday 6 September 2021

Since his surprise promotion in March 2020, Rishi Sunak has spent his first 18 months as Chancellor in full Covid crisis mode. But as the worst of the crisis appears to be behind us, the Government has an Autumn crunch of tough decisions ahead of it – with a Spending Review and potential Budget to … Continued

Monetary policy
Economy and public finances
Macroeconomic policy

The economic outlook

Speech by the Governor of the Bank of England Andrew Bailey

Monday 8 March 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has sparked a truly global economic crisis, affecting families, firms and institutions throughout the world. The UK has been hard hit – experiencing the biggest economic contraction in over three centuries – but the fast pace of its vaccine roll-out means that the economy is expected to recover rapidly this year. The … Continued

On the recovery road

Assessing the Budget and economic outlook

Thursday 4 March 2021

Chancellor Sunak’s first year in office has been marked by a huge economic crisis, and unprecedented policy interventions to support workers and firms through the pandemic. With vaccines being swiftly rolled out, the year ahead should see the economy return to growth. But with rising unemployment and firms reluctant to invest, the road to recovery … Continued

Monetary policy
Budgets & fiscal events
Economy and public finances

Budgeting for Britain’s economic recovery

Thursday 25 February 2021

The economic outlook for 2021 is highly uncertain. Having started with a renewed lockdown and likely shrinking economy, a stronger than expected vaccine roll-out offers hope for a recovery in the months ahead. The upcoming Budget on 3 March will be critical in terms of shaping the strength and nature of that recovery from this … Continued

Coronanomics: Challenges facing policy and governance

Tuesday 8 December 2020

Coping with the COVID-19 pandemic has been the toughest test for many governments in generations. From suppressing the virus and ensuring healthcare systems can cope, to dealing with the fallout in terms of support for businesses and households, governments are facing huge policy battles, and on multiple fronts. This has placed great pressure on our … Continued


The economic challenges of COVID-19

Monday 30 November 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended economies across the world. The daunting scale, pace and uncertainty of the crisis has presented huge challenges for economics, and for economic policymakers attempting to steer countries through it while limiting the damage to citizens’ lives and livelihoods. And even if a vaccine is found soon, the legacy of the … Continued

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