Revised Statement: productivity, prospects and priorities ahead of the Autumn Budget

Published on Public Finances and the Economy

In this briefing paper we explore how the Budget looks set to be take place against an outlook for living standards that is even gloomier than the one likely to be facing the Chancellor on the public finances. This will reduce his room for manoeuvre but increase the need for action.

  • Housing, going well beyond the additional Help-to-Buy funding already trailed. The government should take advantage of today’s ultra-low borrowing costs to embark on a large-scale programme of state investment in housebuilding – revising the fiscal rules to allow this to happen
  • Revising social securityplans, not only to shorten the six week wait in Universal Credit but to also reverse cuts to the new benefit and undo a deeper than expected benefit freeze
  • Supporting the ending of the public sector pay cap with additional resources – especially for the NHS
  • Ending the expensive and regressive policy of raising income taxthresholds now that the goal of a £12,500 personal allowance is within sight, instead raising revenues via freezes to income tax thresholds later this parliament