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

The Covid state

Analysis of the economy and public finances ahead of the 2020 Spending Review

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The Chancellor is set to unveil his Spending Review against a radically changed economic and fiscal backdrop to the one he faced in March. Although unemployment is set to peak lower and later than had been expected back in the Summer, the long-term economic scarring from this crisis is set to be significant. The OBR’s … Continued

Unhealthy finances

How to support the economy today and repair the public finances tomorrow

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This report provides analysis of the dual challenges faced by the government: ensuring that there is sufficient fiscal support through the crisis and recovery, and setting fiscal policy on a sustainable long-term path. Some argue it is unsustainable to provide the massive government support during the crisis, while others see little constraint on government borrowing … 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

Summer Economic Update July 2020

Resolution Foundation overnight analysis

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This was not a Budget, but was still a big deal with £30bn of measures to support the economy. This is particularly significant when seen in combination with £160bn of pandemic-related support already announced, leaving borrowing this year on course to reach £350bn. Debt interest costs will continue to fall, although the crisis will leave … 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

Doing more of what it takes

Next steps in the economic response to coronavirus

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The Government has responded to coronavirus by shutting down large parts of the UK economy, and socialising the costs of doing so through a package of fiscal support to firms and individuals unprecedented in size and scope. Given uncertainty about how long public health restrictions will need to be in place, economic policy makers need to be prepared to manage what could … Continued

Safeguarding governments’ financial health during coronavirus

What can policymakers learn from past viral outbreaks?

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In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, governments have taken unprecedented steps to protect the health of their citizens and support their economies. They now need to take extraordinary steps to safeguard their own financial health through what could be a protracted period of economic disruption necessary to contain and eradicate the virus. This paper … Continued

Doing what it takes

Protecting firms and families from the economic impact of coronavirus

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The coronavirus health crisis is now a full-blown economic crisis, and one that may last for much more than a few months. Firms will go bust and unemployment will rise. The majority of this economic damage will be driven not by the direct impact of coronavirus itself, but by the necessary measures – such as social distancing – that we put in place to respond to it.

Euston, we have a problem

Is Britain ready for an infrastructure revolution?

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The centrepiece of the new government’s first Budget is expected to be an ‘infrastructure revolution’ – spending at least an additional £100 billion over the next five years on public investment. This is significant because such spending has the potential to support economic growth, improve living standards and protect the environment. So this report considers … Continued

The Macroeconomic Policy Outlook Q1 2020

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This is the first of a new series of Macro Policy Outlooks (MPOs) from the Resolution Foundation’s Macroeconomic Policy Unit, providing a policy-focused take on the economy. In this edition we explore the outlook ahead of the Budget due on 11 March. The economy has slowed significantly in recent quarters, with 2019 the second-weakest post-war … Continued

The beginning of the end… …but not the end of the beginning

Governor Carney’s valedictory speech discusses the future of the UK’s monetary policy remit – but this is just the start of an important debate

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The beginning of the end… After several false starts, the appointment of his successor (Andrew Bailey) means Mark Carney finally has a leaving date (15 March). He can now concentrate on the serious business of organising his leaving parties securing his legacy from his longer-than-expected time as Bank of England Governor. That all started yesterday … Continued

Playing by their own rules?

We analyse whether the policy platforms announced by the main parties are consistent with their own fiscal rules

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Fiscal rules are crucial for the government’s stewardship of the public finances and framing its economic priorities. So it is welcome that the main parties have prioritised setting out the rules they would follow, with their announcements following to different degrees the approach recommended by earlier Resolution Foundation work. But fiscal rules are only useful … 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

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

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