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Observations

In these frequent and topical observations, we comment on policy issues related to our research programme. Sign up to receive email alerts when new observations are posted, or scroll down to subscribe to one of our RSS feeds.
Observation
Yesterday we heard the first details of a new five-year funding settlement for the NHS in England. It was announced NHS England funding would be slightly more than £20 billion higher in 2023-24 than in 2018–19 after adjusting for forecast economy-wide inflation over the period. This represents ...
Observation
Analysis of the SNP’s Sustainable Growth Commission’s proposals
Observation
Public spending on social care for older people in England has seen large cuts in recent years, falling by 21% between 2009–10 and 2015–16. This has led to growing concerns over the potential for adverse effects on other public services, and in particular the NHS.
Observation
Recent IFS work (joint with the Health Foundation) documented the considerable pressures on health and social care spending over the next fifteen years. In the near term, an announced funding settlement for the NHS covering the next few years may be on the horizon.
Observation
Recent IFS work (joint with the Health Foundation) documented the considerable pressures on health and social care spending over the next fifteen years. In the near term, an announced funding settlement for the NHS covering the next few years may be on the horizon.
Observation
For the new 2018–19 tax year, the Scottish higher-rate threshold has fallen further behind that in the UK, and two new income tax bands have been added in Scotland while the higher- and additional-rates have been increased. While most Scots will be either unaffected or pay slightly less in tax, ...
Observation
From tomorrow, a large proportion of private sector employees will pay more into their pensions – and their employers will have to contribute more too. This is the first of two planned steps in the next two years that will increase the minimum contributions that most employees and their employers ...
Observation
Organisations with 250 or more employees now have to provide statistics relating to the gender wage gap. The data that are available so far show the vast majority paying men, on average, more than women. The gender wage gap has barely fallen over the last fifteen years and greater understanding of ...
Observation
Tuesday’s Spring Statement may not contain any new policy measures, but it will contain the latest official economic and fiscal forecasts. These are likely to be for lower borrowing over the next five years than forecast in November. But that shouldn’t be great cause for celebration. The ...
Observation
The nature of low income in the UK has changed radically. The problem of low pay for those in work is increasingly dominating the domestic policy agenda. To mark the end of a programme of research funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, we are setting out and discussing the latest evidence on ...
Observation
The UK has over 1100 tax reliefs and according to HMRC, we forego over £400bn of revenue each year as a result of reliefs. In this observation, Helen Miller, Associate Director at IFS, sets out some of the issues.
Observation
Debates about welfare policy often discuss benefit recipients as though they are a fixed, relatively small group of people. In reality, people’s circumstances fluctuate frequently over their lifetimes, often dramatically and in ways that matter hugely for entitlements to benefits. People’s ...
Observation
Will Brexit mean more money for the NHS?
Observation
We often think of exports and imports as things made in one country and consumed in another – I export cars to you and import socks you’ve made. In fact the majority of UK exports and imports are now made up of goods or services which are themselves inputs into production. I export engines to ...
Observation
The minimum wage is rising rapidly. In 2015 4% of employees aged 25 and over were on the minimum; this is set to reach 12% by 2020. New analysis published by IFS shows that those being brought within the minimum wage net are in different sorts of jobs from those who have been on the minimum ...
Observation
The Department for Work and Pensions today published the recommendations of its review into automatic enrolment. This focussed on issues around membership of, contributions to, and engagement with, workplace pensions. This observation looks at two specific measures – both of which are likely to ...
Observation
7 key charts ahead of the Chancellor's Autumn Budget
Observation
The basic question of whether our tax system is fair is at the heart of many of our public debates. Discussions of whether ‘the rich’ or companies are paying their ‘fair share’ is regularly in, or underlying, the news headlines. These are important questions. If we want to ensure that we ...
Observation
Andrew Hood and Tom Waters
This morning the Office for National Statistics announced that the inflation figure for the year to September.
Observation
Last week, the Secretary of State for Education announced arrangements for school funding in England in 2018–19 and 2019–20. This confirmed additional annual funding of around £900m by 2019–20 (as compared with pre-election plans) and announced the amended plans for the national funding ...