Under strain

Investigating trends in working-age disability and incapacity benefits

by

The benefits bill is frequently the subject of intense political debate. But since the pandemic, working-age health-related benefits have moved centre-stage in these discussions, as policy makers aim to understand what sits behind the historical rise in claims, and to contain future pressures too. In this briefing note – part of our Election 2024 work … Continued

General Election 2024
·
Housing
·
Political parties and elections

Home truths

Putting housing policy in context for the 2024 general election

by

The housing offers from both main parties for the 2024 general election are similar in many respects, suggesting that the ‘penny has dropped’ when it comes to boosting housing supply, supporting would-be homeowners, and improving the energy efficiency of our country’s housing stock. As well as a broad consensus forming around some housing policy areas, … Continued

General Election 2024
·
Tax
·
Welfare
·
Political parties and elections

Growing for gold?

Analysing the tax and spend package of the 2024 Labour Manifesto

by

In launching its manifesto, the Labour Party put the emphasis on efforts to boost growth. But more eye-catching were promises of some of the biggest changes to the labour market in a generation, with the aim of improving the quality of work. Proposals here included new employment rights, tougher labour-market enforcement, and an innovative approach … Continued

The economic battle lines of the general election

Analysing the Conservative and Labour party manifestos

by

The manifestos are out; the serious wonk business can begin. If you haven’t had a chance to digest the fine detail of the parties’ manifestos, you’re in luck. We had a go for you. This spotlight parcels up the main takeaways. For reasons of length, we’re focusing on the main two parties, but obviously other … Continued

General Election 2024
·
Universal Credit
·
Welfare

Ratchets, retrenchment and reform

The social security system since 2010

by

Spending on social security as a share of GDP has risen slightly since the financial crisis, but the system in Great Britain has undergone profound change over the same time. Large-scale structural reforms have fundamentally altered the system’s rules for working-age families, while working-age benefits have been both cut back and then not fully indexed … Continued

General Election 2024
·
Tax
·
Welfare
·
Political parties and elections

The narrow path to NICs cuts

Analysing the tax and spend package of the 2024 Conservative Manifesto

by

The launch of the Conservative manifesto is a big moment in this election campaign. The strategy here was clear: treble down on National Insurance (NI) rate cuts. The continued focus on NI is welcome, at least compared to the alternatives, and delivers significant cuts in tax for some, with the proposed 2p reduction delivering a … Continued

Life in the slow lane

Assessing the UK’s economic and trade performance since 2010

by

This briefing note is the third output in a programme of outputs designed to put the upcoming UK general election in context, supported by the Nuffield Foundation. It looks at the performance of the UK economy and trade since 2010. The UK grew faster than other G7 economies in the first quarter of 2024 but, … Continued

Hiding in plain sight

The Government’s record on taxes and the challenges ahead

by

In this briefing note – part of a programme of outputs supported by the Nuffield Foundation to put the upcoming UK general election in context – we consider some of the key tax questions for the 2024 general election and beyond. Has the government raised people’s taxes or lowered them? How different are the parties’ … Continued

An inherited problem

by

There has been recent speculation that the Conservative Party might announce that they intend to abolish – or significantly reduce – Inheritance Tax (IHT) if re-elected. Calls for cutting or abolishing IHT are frequent, given the tax’s unpopularity – despite the fact that only a small minority of people will ever be likely to pay … Continued

Debt dramas

Putting the public finances in context ahead of general election 2024

by

The public finances have already emerged as a key issue in this election. So, in this briefing note, we step back and ask how we got to where we are today, discuss where the public finances might be heading, and consider what this means for whoever forms the next government.

Under triple lock and key

What would a ‘triple-lock-plus’ policy look like?

by

The Conservative Party has announced that, if re-elected, it intends to increase the personal allowance for pensioners in line with the triple lock – a policy which has been referred to as ‘triple lock plus’, or the ‘quadruple lock’. We’ve had a look at the costs and impacts of such a policy, and how it … Continued

Paying the price

How the inflation surge has reshaped the British economy

by

The UK has experienced its highest inflation for more than 40 years, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But next week will bring the welcome news that inflation has returned close to the 2 per cent target for the first time since July 2021. In this briefing note we take a step back and look at … Continued

Firm foundations

Understanding why employers use flexible contracts

by

At the end of 2023, more than one-in-eight (13 per cent) employees in UK were working on some form of flexible contract that can be viewed as ‘precarious’, accounting for 3.8 million workers nationwide. From variable-hours and zero-hours contracts to temporary work such as casual, seasonal or short-term employment, flexible contracts often entail considerable uncertainty … Continued

Electric dreams

How can we decarbonise electricity without disadvantaging poorer families?

by

A low carbon electricity system will underpin the UK’s journey to net zero, making the electricity we use today greener but also fuelling our cars and keeping us warm at home in decades to come. But this overhaul of our energy system requires a significant step change in investment, with the costs of this spending … Continued

Universal Credit
·
Welfare

In credit?

Assessing where Universal Credit’s long roll-out has left the benefit system and the country

by

With neither of the main parties wanting to scrap Universal Credit, whoever wins the election will be governing a ‘Universal Credit Britain’, as the final stage of what has been the biggest benefit reform in a generation is due to end with a system covering 7 million families by 2029.  But it is nearly 14 years … Continued

Through the roof

Recent trends in rental-price growth

by

In the context of the significant rental-price growth the UK has experienced over the past two years, this briefing note looks at possible causes, and what we can expect looking ahead.

Happy new tax year

Six big changes to pay, tax and benefit policy – and how they affect households across Britain

by

The beginning of April brings a new tax year, and a flurry of tax, benefit and pay policy changes coming into effect. Benefit levels are finally returning to their pre-pandemic levels after a difficult few years. Threshold freezes will continue to pull more people into paying tax, but the tax they pay on every extra … Continued

Housing Outlook Q1 2024

by

Welcome to our first Housing Outlook in what looks set to be an election year, and one where housing could well be a prominent issue. This quarter, we consider whether the UK’s housing woes are shared by other developed economies, or if the issues of housing affordability and quality we highlight so frequently are distinctly … Continued

A U-shaped legacy

Taking stock of trends in economic inactivity in 2024

by

In an election year, jobs and benefits are often centre stage. Alongside the UK’s stagnant wage growth, there is one big issue that will face the next government: the rises in economic inactivity and health-related benefit claims. Real pay growth, unemployment and vacancies have all returned roughly to 2019 rates. But there is one aspect … Continued

Pensioner progress

The impact of personal tax and benefit changes since 2010 on pensioner families

by

Tax-paying pensioners did not gain anything from the Chancellor’s Budget last week, and policies announced since 2019, including the six-year freeze to tax thresholds, will cut the incomes of pensioners by an average of £900 a year, with the largest losses felt by pensioners on the highest incomes. This has prompted accusations that the Government … Continued

Back for more?

Putting the 2024 Spring Budget in context

by

In this briefing note, we put the decisions in the Spring Budget 2024 in context, discussing how the economic outlook has changed, what that means for the public finances, and how the policy decisions taken at the Budget will affect living standards in both the short and the medium term.

In too deep?

The impact of the cost of living crisis on household debt

by

Hard economic times and rising interest rates have brought a renewed focus on household debt in recent years, with concerns that more and more families could find themselves overwhelmed by the burden of debt. So this briefing note takes a closer look at the use of consumer debt (such as credit cards, personal loans and … Continued

Loading
No more publications found