Act now, or pay later

The OBR’s Fiscal Sustainability Report makes clear the implications of a crisis-driven rise in unemployment for the public finances

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The OBR’s latest Fiscal Sustainability Report confirms its view that the current crisis could lead to the largest economic contraction in 300 years precipitating a return of unemployment levels not since the 1980s. Given the huge uncertainty, the OBR has produced three scenarios with different assumption about a timetable for finding a vaccine or other … 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

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

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

Social care
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Universal Credit
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Fiscal policy
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Welfare
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Political parties and elections

The shifting shape of social security

Charting the changing size and shape of the British welfare system

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Voters face a stark choice in the 2019 election about the social security system they want. This report examines how the provision of social security in Britain has changed; the big trends that current social security policy needs to take account of; and the policy offer from our three main political parties.

Recession ready?

Assessing the UK’s macroeconomic framework

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This report is the launch paper for the Resolution Foundation’s Macroeconomic Policy Unit. It provides the most comprehensive assessment of the UK’s macroeconomic policy framework since the financial crisis, focusing on the ability of the framework to provide effective support to the economy in the face of the next recession. This work is important, given … Continued

A problem shared?

What can we learn from past recessions about the impact of the next across the income distribution?

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While the received wisdom from the 1980s and 1990s recessions was that those at the bottom of the income distribution suffer most during severe downturns. But this was less obvious in the aftermath of the financial crisis. So this briefing note looks at what lessons we can learn from that episode about the distributional impact … Continued

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