Rounding up

Putting the 2019 Spending Round into context

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In his September 2019 Spending Round the Chancellor rightly declared he was “turning the page” on austerity and “writing a new chapter in our public services”. But he has also ripped up his own fiscal rulebook, almost certainly breaking the fiscal ‘mandate’ in the near-term and casting significant doubt over his ability to keep debt falling as a share of GDP over the coming years.

Follow the money

Exploring the link between UK growth and workers’ pay packets

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This briefing note unpicks the relationship between productivity and pay growth, looking at a variety of factors that influence pay growth for different groups of employees in the UK – from trends in the labour share to terms of trade movements, and from the role of employer pension contributions to the impact of changes in working patterns.

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

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Consumer borrowing has been surging over recent months, raising fears that we are storing up more debt-fuelled problems for tomorrow. This note digs into the numbers and focuses on who is taking out all the credit. We consider also how the profile of the UK’s household debt will stand up to increasing interest rates in the coming years.

An unhealthy interest? Debt distress and the consequences of raising rates

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Consumer borrowing has been surging over recent months, raising fears that we are storing up more debt-fuelled problems for tomorrow. This note digs into the numbers and focuses on who is taking out all the credit. We consider also how the profile of the UK’s household debt will stand up to increasing interest rates in the coming years.

Ending austerity? The priorities, price tags and practicalities for a government changing course on spending cuts

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Britain is seven years into a prolonged period of fiscal consolidation, in which constraints on public spending have been the central feature and are set to continue for some years to come. Following the general election  there has been a significant debate about the extent to which the result – and the failure of the … Continued

The pay deficit: measuring the effect of pension deficit payments on workers’ wages

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Across the UK economy, the share of overall employee compensation accounted for by non-wage elements such as employer pension contributions has increased substantially since 2000. This increase was driven in no small part by increased payments by employers to plug defined benefit deficits and coincided with a marked pre-crisis slowdown in pay growth, causing speculation … Continued

Public spending
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Economy and public finances
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Political parties and elections

The deficit the election forgot? Pre-election briefing on the main parties’ fiscal positions

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While the deficit remains in place, it is heading back to the sort of level relative to the size of the economy that past generations have been comfortable with. With the process of fiscal consolidation dominating so much of the political discourse in recent years it’s unlikely that many voters will be lamenting a dialling … Continued

Economy drive: prospects and priorities ahead of the last Spring Budget

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Healthier-than-expected tax receipts, the absence of any immediate post-referendum slowdown in growth and measurement changes are set to lower borrowing forecasts at next week’s Budget by £29bn between 2015-16 and 2020-21. Such a revision would leave borrowing projections for the remainder of the Parliament below those expected at Autumn Statement 2016, but still well above … Continued

Under New Management: options for supporting ‘just managing’ families at the Autumn Statement

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The new Prime Minister has been very clear in her determination to put the interests of ‘just managing’ families at the heart of her government, but she has inherited tax and benefit plans which are set to lower incomes for many in the group over the remainder of the parliament. With post-EU referendum revisions to projections for … Continued

Pressing the reset button: the public finance options facing the new Chancellor at the Autumn Statement

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In the run up to the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor has already indicated the need for a fiscal ‘reset’. While this has been over-interpreted as a hint of a radical shift in macro-economic policy, it simply represents recognition of the need to drop his predecessor’s fiscal pledges if he is to avoid making significant additional … Continued

Brexit & trade
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Economic growth
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Political parties and elections

The Importance of Place: explaining the characteristics underpinning the Brexit vote across different parts of the UK

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Post-referendum analysis has highlighted the importance of demographic, economic and cultural factors on individuals’ vote. In this note, we consider the importance of place; highlighting the extent to which those same factors matter across 378 of Britain’s 380 local authorities. We test the strength of the relationship between these different factors and the vote while holding … Continued

Labour market
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Pay
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Minimum wage
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Living Wage

The first 100 days: early evidence on the impact of the National Living Wage

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  In this briefing note, we combine official data and a bespoke survey to better understand employers’ initial reaction to the announcement and implementation of the National Living Wage and their plans for the future. We also consider the implications of the Brexit vote for the future trajectory of the NLW.  

Save it for another day: pension tax relief and options for reform

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The Treasury has reportedly backed away from pension tax reforms, at least temporarily. Given the scale of existing tax relief, its particular benefits for higher income savers, and the potential wider impact of any change, this is perhaps understandable. But there remains a strong case for making the current system cheaper, fairer and better targeted. … Continued

Living Standards 2016: The experiences of low to middle income households in downturn and recovery

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This is the Resolution Foundation’s seventh annual state of the nation report on living standards, and it is testament to the depth of the downturn that has gripped households since the financial crisis hit that average incomes only just appear to be returning to the level they were at when we published the first one in the series. In … Continued

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