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.

Breaking the rules

Analysing the credibility of the Chancellor’s commitment to keep to his fiscal rules

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The Chancellor is shortly to deliver the first spending round (SR) of the post-austerity era. Although he is only setting departmental budgets for 2020-21, this event will mark a turning point  in our political and economic debates as it brings to an end almost 10 years of austerity. The politics of this SR are relatively … Continued

Counting the cost: UK living standards since the 2016 referendum

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Household incomes are around £1,500 year lower today than they were expected to be before the Brexit referendum – with the UK having experienced the sharpest income growth slowdown of any economy for which the OECD publish data. This note focuses on the UK’s recent economic performance, going beyond the usual focus on GDP to look at the impact on household living standards across the UK.

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.

Changing Lanes: The impact of different post-Brexit trading policies on the cost of living

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The issue of trade has returned to the frontline of British policy making and politics for the first time in 40 years, but little has been said about what the impact of changes in the UK’s trade regime could be on living standards. This paper aims to fill that gap by looking at what impact two “no deal” Brexit scenarios could have on prices and living standards.

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

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

The going rate: moving from CPI to CPIH and the inflation experiences of UK households

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The period of ultra-low inflation is over. CPI inflation is expected to rise above 2 per cent in the near future, eating into earnings and making benefits less generous. This coincides with a change in the way we measure those price rises, with a new main measure of inflation. On 21 March, CPIH will replace … 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

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