Nationally Insured?

New taxes and new spending to address key Department for Health and Social Care priorities

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This note assesses the announcements made by the Government on the suspension of the Triple Lock, National Insurance rises, health and social care funding, and public spending totals for the rest of this Parliament made on 7 September 2021.

To govern is to choose

The choices facing the Chancellor this autumn

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The Chancellor has not had a quiet introduction to national policy making: overseeing 17 major fiscal announcements in as many months. This summer provided the first lull, driven by the success of vaccines and the understandable focus on Afghanistan. But the quiet phase is coming to an end. Alongside dealing with whatever new paths the … Continued

Social care
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Tax

A caring tax rise?

The impacts of a potential increase in National Insurance

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The Government intends to increase social care spending and is considering its options, having delayed a decision until the Autumn. They are 100 per cent right to do so. One option under consideration is raising National Insurance to make that possible. They are 100 per cent wrong to do so – because the far superior … Continued

Understanding the labour market: pandemic not pandemonium

The labour market is normalising, not overheating

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The mild euphoria phase of the economic commentary cycle has arrived somewhat earlier than after previous downturns. This is a big change from the excessive pessimism of late 2020. According to some, we have “eye popping growth” to look forward to as “Brexit Britain Booms”. For the labour market, this turn to optimism has seen … Continued

The 12-month stretch

Where the Government has delivered – and where it has failed – during the Covid-19 crisis

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This note explores the big picture of how policy makers have responded to the pandemic over the past 12 months, taking a step back to explore what they have done, and what that has done to health and economic outcomes.

Spending fast, taxing slow

Resolution Foundation analysis of Budget 2021

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This briefing note provides an assessment of the measures announced in the March 2021 Budget. The context for this Budget was an intensification of the Covid-19 pandemic, creating a need for further policy measures to support families and firms in the months before the completion of the vaccine rollout. In response, the Chancellor announced significant … Continued

Lockdown lessons

What 2020 has to teach us about the difficult weeks ahead

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2021 begins with England and Scotland heading into new lockdowns, and tough ones at that. Lasting until at least late February, England’s new restrictions are more comparable to those of spring 2020 than the more relaxed autumn affairs. In this short note we focus on the experience of that first lockdown, and what it can … Continued

Macroeconomic Policy Outlook Q4 2020

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This is our regular Macro Policy Outlook, providing a policy-focused take on the economy. In this edition, we focus on the labour market, and the prospects for unemployment.   This edition of the Macro Policy Outlook looks ahead to prospects for 2021. The early months of next year will pick up where 2020 left off, … Continued

Here today, gone tomorrow

Putting Spending Review 2020 into context

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This briefing note provides an assessment of the measures announced in the November 2020 Spending Review. The backdrop to that Review was the reality of an on-going health crisis and a huge hit to the economy which looks set to leave lasting damage to both household and public finances. In response, the Chancellor has ramped up coronavirus spending this … Continued

Wake me up when November ends

The economic outlook amid Lockdown II

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We’ve got less than 48 hours until a second national lockdown in England begins, and who knows how long until it comes to an end. Pubs, hotels, and hairdressers’ doors will close again across England – as they have been in Wales since 23 October – with the significant tightening of restrictions representing the final … Continued

Death by £1000 cuts?

The history, economics and politics of cutting benefits for millions of households next April

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The first Conservative Conference of a new parliament begins. It comes on the back of a surprisingly emphatic election win, but with rumblings beginning about the Chancellor’s plan to take £1,000 away from millions of low-income households in just six months’ time. At that conference it is George Osborne, not Rishi Sunak, that gets up … Continued

The Winter (Economy Plan) is coming

Chancellor ramps economic support back up, but avoidable design flaws will limit its success in stemming the Autumn rise in unemployment

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Economic policy yesterday caught back up with the ramping back up of social distancing restrictions by the Prime Minister earlier in the week. The Chancellor rightly announced new measures rather than sticking to plans to phase out help for workers and firms.   His most significant policy was the Job Support Scheme (JSS), an extended, … Continued

Locked in?

The triple lock on the State Pension in light of the coronavirus crisis

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It is well known that the triple lock on the State Pension – which states that it rises each year by the highest of earnings growth, inflation and 2.5 per cent – makes its value dependent not just on the general pace of growth in prices and wages, but also on their volatility. The next … Continued

A new settlement for the low paid

Beyond the minimum wage to dignity and respect

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This crisis is shared, but its burden is not. From health risks to job losses, it is the UK’s 4.2 million low-paid workers on whom this pandemic has imposed the greatest cost, and of whom the efforts to combat it have required the greatest sacrifice. Lower earners are three times as likely to have lost … Continued

Public finances under pressure

Lessons for policy makers from April’s public finance figures

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April’s Public Sector Finances data capture the first full month of the coronavirus lockdown and provide a sobering reminder of the fiscal costs of the pandemic. Public sector net borrowing was £62.1 billion last month, the highest level ever recorded and nearly three time higher than the last record of £22 billion in April 2012. … Continued

Getting Britain working (safely) again

The next phase of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

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The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) has been a major public policy success. The unprecedented step of paying 80 per cent of the wages for 6.3 million jobs has made it possible to ask people to stay at home to save lives. This paper explores how the JRS should evolve as restrictions on activity are … Continued

Crystal balls vs rear-view mirrors

The UK labour market after coronavirus

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Summary Sudden and significant hits to the UK labour market in recent weeks have shown that this will be a jobs recession. The focus has rightly been on how to respond to the huge numbers of people losing work, but policy makers and pundits are also beginning to ask what this crisis could mean for … Continued

Next steps to support family incomes in the face of the coronavirus crisis

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The Government has set out an unprecedented package of support for family incomes, including paying 80 per cent of the wages of employees who currently have no work, via its Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Delivering that scheme should be the top priority, given its crucial role in preventing a very steep rise in unemployment and … Continued

Economy and public finances
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Political parties and elections

Oven-ready, safety-first

Assessing the Conservatives' 2019 manifesto

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Summary Brexit is happening, but big tax cuts aren’t. That’s the short version of the already fairly short Conservative Manifesto. This manifesto does not tell us much about what the Conservatives would do after 31st January 2020, but it does confirm the country faces a big choice in this election on the size of the … Continued

Political parties and elections

Doubling down on a bigger state

Assessing Labour’s 2019 manifesto

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Summary Labour have doubled down on plans to increase the size of the state, and their ambitious spending pledges have been matched by ambitious revenue-raising plans. There is now a very big choice facing the country on the size of the state it wants, and how it should be funded. Their manifesto also builds on … Continued

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.

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