Economy and public finances
Political parties and elections

Monday 4 November 2019

The shape of things to come

Assessing the main parties' plans for tax and spend

Monday 4 November, 9.40-11am, Resolution Foundation offices, Westminster | Part I of a pre-election trilogy of RF events on the past, present and future of the state

After almost a decade of austerity, both main political parties want to expand the size of the state – with commitments from new hospitals to renationalised utility companies expected in the upcoming manifestos. But while both main parties want a bigger state, there is far less consensus over what the state should do or what services it should prioritise, let alone how any expansion should be paid for.

With new manifesto pledges being written ahead of the December election, the size and shape of the British state is about to change. Understanding how the state has evolved in recent decades, and what the future might hold for it, are therefore big questions for our democracy.

The Resolution Foundation is hosting a pre-election trilogy of events to explore the size and shape of the state, followed by deep dives into the tax system (13 November) and social security (27 November). Each report and event will explore how our tax and spending future might change, depending on who wins the next election.

At the first event at its Westminster offices on 4 November, the Resolution Foundation presented new research on the changing size and shape of the state, and how the main parties’ plans compare, followed by an expert panel discussion and an audience Q&A.