The Living Standards Audit 2019

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Incomes and Inequality

In this annual report, the latest in our decade-long series, we take a forensic look at both recent and longer-term trends in UK living standards. We consider how incomes have changed and for whom, and this year we dig deeper into what economic trends have driven those changes over the past 25 years. With a … Continued

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Spring Forward or Fall Back? The questions facing the UK economy ahead of the Spring Statement 2019

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Public Finances and the Economy

Ahead of Budgets and Spring Statements, speculation usually revolves around what the forecast will say and what the Chancellor will do. But, as with so much in UK politics in 2019, next week’s version feels different. We might expect little change in the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR’s) economic and fiscal projections: yes the economy … Continued

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How to spend it: Autumn 2018 Budget response

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Public Finances and the Economy, Tax and Welfare

Defying expectations of a quiet Budget, the Chancellor yesterday delivered a statement with bigger political and economic shifts than many anticipated. Given the task of delivering a Prime Ministerial promise to ‘end austerity’ with a parliamentary arithmetic that rules out significant tax rises, Philip Hammond seized the lifeline of a much improved public finance forecast … Continued

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Tunnel vision: Autumn Budget 2018 and ‘ending austerity’

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Public Finances and the Economy, Tax and Welfare

In this briefing paper we explore the challenge facing the Chancellor in this year’s Budget: balancing the seemingly conflicting goals of ‘ending austerity’ and lowering debt as a share of GDP. The former comes with a price tag, while the latter precludes the option of meeting that cost simply through extra borrowing.

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Healthy finances? Options for funding an NHS spending increase

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Public Finances and the Economy

The National Health Service will turn 70 on 5 July 2018, but public concern about its condition is at its highest since the early 2000s. This mirrors notable declines in many performance measures over recent years, which have taken place against a backdrop of historically low rises in NHS spending. And looking ahead, funding pressures … Continued

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A man for all seasons? What the Chancellor can expect in the OBR’s Spring outlook

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Public Finances and the Economy

On a number of measures, the economic outlook has brightened a little since the ‘bloodbath’ of the Autumn Budget, meaning the Chancellor is likely to receive some good news on the deficit at next week’s Spring Statement But if the OBR follows the same path as the Bank of England and other forecasters, it is … Continued

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