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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Tunnel vision: Autumn Budget 2018 and ‘ending austerity’

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Public Finances and the Economy, Tax and Welfare

In this briefing paper we explore the challenge facing the Chancellor in this year’s Budget: balancing the seemingly conflicting goals of ‘ending austerity’ and lowering debt as a share of GDP. The former comes with a price tag, while the latter precludes the option of meeting that cost simply through extra borrowing.

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Is everybody concentrating? Recent trends in product and labour market concentration in the UK

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Public Finances and the Economy

Worries about the state of modern capitalism abound from politicians across the political spectrum. This should be no surprise, with the UK still emerging from one of the deepest recessions and squeezes on living standards in modern history. At least part of the story told by the many of the critics of our economy is … Continued

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Healthy finances? Options for funding an NHS spending increase

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Public Finances and the Economy

The National Health Service will turn 70 on 5 July 2018, but public concern about its condition is at its highest since the early 2000s. This mirrors notable declines in many performance measures over recent years, which have taken place against a backdrop of historically low rises in NHS spending. And looking ahead, funding pressures … Continued

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Sugar rush: Spring Statement response

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Public Finances and the Economy

With next year expected to mark the point at which both the current deficit is finally eliminated and the debt-to-GDP ratio starts to fall, the Chancellor’s ‘tiggerish’ stance yesterday is understandable. But the light at the end of the austerity tunnel remains all too faint for the moment. For households, the next few years are … Continued

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A man for all seasons? What the Chancellor can expect in the OBR’s Spring outlook

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Public Finances and the Economy

On a number of measures, the economic outlook has brightened a little since the ‘bloodbath’ of the Autumn Budget, meaning the Chancellor is likely to receive some good news on the deficit at next week’s Spring Statement But if the OBR follows the same path as the Bank of England and other forecasters, it is … Continued

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