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

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Public Finances and the Economy

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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Failing to plan = planning to fail: The risk of recessions and the importance of macroeconomic policy in limiting the damage they cause

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Public Finances and the Economy

There is a relatively high risk that the UK will experience a recession in the next few years. An important question, then, is how much of a priority we should make preparing for it? That depends on the impact recessions have. This briefing note argues that recessions lead to significant and lasting damage, with mass … Continued

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Super, smashing, great: Spring Statement 2019 response

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Public Finances and the Economy

The 2019 Spring Statement provided little in the way of answers. We had new OBR forecasts, with yet another fiscal windfall for the Exchequer – but the fact that they were predicated on an increasingly questionable assumption of an orderly Brexit on 29 March meant they were at risk of being out of date before … Continued

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Spring Forward or Fall Back? The questions facing the UK economy ahead of the Spring Statement 2019

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Public Finances and the Economy

Ahead of Budgets and Spring Statements, speculation usually revolves around what the forecast will say and what the Chancellor will do. But, as with so much in UK politics in 2019, next week’s version feels different. We might expect little change in the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR’s) economic and fiscal projections: yes the economy … Continued

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Counting the cost: UK living standards since the 2016 referendum

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Public Finances and the Economy

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 publication focuses on the UK’s economic performance since the EU referendum, but also goes beyond the … Continued

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How to spend it: Autumn 2018 Budget response

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Public Finances and the Economy, Tax and Welfare

Defying expectations of a quiet Budget, the Chancellor yesterday delivered a statement with bigger political and economic shifts than many anticipated. Given the task of delivering a Prime Ministerial promise to ‘end austerity’ with a parliamentary arithmetic that rules out significant tax rises, Philip Hammond seized the lifeline of a much improved public finance forecast … Continued

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