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

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.

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