The Uncertainty Principle

Previewing the decisions to be taken at the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021

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This report is our analysis of the economic and fiscal outlook ahead of the upcoming Autumn 2021 Budget – including what it will mean for the decisions the Chancellor will need to take at the Spending Review. The starting point for the Budget is that the economy is in a much stronger position than was … Continued

Nationally Insured?

New taxes and new spending to address key Department for Health and Social Care priorities

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This note assesses the announcements made by the Government on the suspension of the Triple Lock, National Insurance rises, health and social care funding, and public spending totals for the rest of this Parliament made on 7 September 2021.

To govern is to choose

The choices facing the Chancellor this autumn

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The Chancellor has not had a quiet introduction to national policy making: overseeing 17 major fiscal announcements in as many months. This summer provided the first lull, driven by the success of vaccines and the understandable focus on Afghanistan. But the quiet phase is coming to an end. Alongside dealing with whatever new paths the … Continued

The 12-month stretch

Where the Government has delivered – and where it has failed – during the Covid-19 crisis

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This note explores the big picture of how policy makers have responded to the pandemic over the past 12 months, taking a step back to explore what they have done, and what that has done to health and economic outcomes.

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

Spring Budget 2020 response

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Britain’s new Chancellor gave the country a big Budget, combining a larger-than-expected response to coronavirus with a resetting of the Government and Conservative party’s approach to managing the public finances. A large appetite for increasing public spending has been combined with far less appetite to raise taxes. The result is a Conservative Chancellor now planning … 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

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

Ending austerity? The priorities, price tags and practicalities for a government changing course on spending cuts

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Britain is seven years into a prolonged period of fiscal consolidation, in which constraints on public spending have been the central feature and are set to continue for some years to come. Following the general election  there has been a significant debate about the extent to which the result – and the failure of the … Continued

Public spending
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Economy and public finances
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Political parties and elections

The deficit the election forgot? Pre-election briefing on the main parties’ fiscal positions

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While the deficit remains in place, it is heading back to the sort of level relative to the size of the economy that past generations have been comfortable with. With the process of fiscal consolidation dominating so much of the political discourse in recent years it’s unlikely that many voters will be lamenting a dialling … Continued

Economy drive: prospects and priorities ahead of the last Spring Budget

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Healthier-than-expected tax receipts, the absence of any immediate post-referendum slowdown in growth and measurement changes are set to lower borrowing forecasts at next week’s Budget by £29bn between 2015-16 and 2020-21. Such a revision would leave borrowing projections for the remainder of the Parliament below those expected at Autumn Statement 2016, but still well above … Continued

Under New Management: options for supporting ‘just managing’ families at the Autumn Statement

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The new Prime Minister has been very clear in her determination to put the interests of ‘just managing’ families at the heart of her government, but she has inherited tax and benefit plans which are set to lower incomes for many in the group over the remainder of the parliament. With post-EU referendum revisions to projections for … Continued

Pressing the reset button: the public finance options facing the new Chancellor at the Autumn Statement

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In the run up to the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor has already indicated the need for a fiscal ‘reset’. While this has been over-interpreted as a hint of a radical shift in macro-economic policy, it simply represents recognition of the need to drop his predecessor’s fiscal pledges if he is to avoid making significant additional … Continued

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