Follow us
Publications Commentary Research People Events News Resources and Videos About IFS
Home Publications Briefing note

Briefing notes

We produce short briefing notes on current policy issues, drawing on our expertise and research findings.
Briefing note
English local government finance is part way through a series of major changes that will see its focus shift from being based on redistribution according to spending needs, towards more emphasis on providing financial incentives to tackle needs and boost local revenue-raising capacity. However, ...
Briefing note
Analysis of how council spending on adult social care and other services changed between 2009-10 and 2017-18.
Briefing note
Analysis of how council spending on adult social care and other services changed between 2009-10 and 2017-18.
Briefing note
Analysis of how council spending on adult social care and other services changed between 2009-10 and 2017-18.
Briefing note
Analysis of how council spending on adult social care and other services changed between 2009-10 and 2017-18.
Briefing note
Since 2007 it has not been permitted to advertise food and drink that is high in fat, salt or sugar during children's television programmes. Evidence from Ofcom suggests that in 2016 children spent 64% of their viewing time watching programmes outside children’s programming. Recent discussion ...
Briefing note
Salifu Amadu, Orazio Attanasio, Bet Caeyers, Lina Cardona Sosa, Sarah Cattan, Sonya Krutikova, Peter Leighton, Lise Masselus and Mubarik Yakubu
High quality early childhood care and education (ECCE) are critical to children’s development and their success in adult life. Ghana has shown substantial commitment to improving ECCE, with one of the highest pre-school enrolment rates in Sub Saharan Africa. However despite this, significant ...
Briefing note
Barra Roantree and Kartik Vira
Over the past 40 years, the UK has seen an almost continual rise in the proportion of women in employment. The employment rate among women of ‘prime working age’ (aged 25-54) is up from 57% in 1975 to a record high of 78% in 2017.
Briefing note
The business rates retention scheme (BRRS) means that councils bear a proportion of the real-terms change in business rates revenues in their areas. When the BRRS was introduced in 2013–14, this proportion was up to 50%. However, since April 2017, the government has been piloting 100% retention ...
Briefing note
Eligibility for a free lunch was recently extended to all state school children in England and Scotland who are in Year 2 or below (i.e. up to age 6 or 7). For all other state school pupils in the UK, eligibility remains restricted by a means test so that free school meals (FSMs) go to a relatively ...
Briefing note
This note summarises ongoing work being undertaken by Lucie Gadenne, Tushar Nandi and Roland Rathelot on the scale and nature of supply chain distortions in West Bengal. Earlier work examined the effects of reforms to West Bengal’s simplified tax schemes on revenues.
Briefing note
This paper, written collaboratively by IFS researchers and policy-makers from Ethiopia and Ghana, has multiple and interlinked objectives: (i) to provide an overview of tax incentives and best practices for their design grounded in economic principles, and assess how these apply to the case studies ...
Briefing note
As in many high income countries, VAT systems in low and middle income countries (LMICs) are often characterised by different tax treatments for different types of goods and services. Often, reduced rates of VAT and exemptions (“preferential rates”) are granted on equity grounds, for goods and ...
Briefing note
Rebecca Allen, Luke Sibieta and Anna Vignoles
There are longstanding concerns about the recruitment and retention of teachers in the UK . In recent years there has also been much debate about the extent to which changes to the initial teacher education system have affected the recruitment and retention problem. These concerns are most acute in ...
Briefing note
This short briefing note summarises what the newly released HBAI data tell us about how living standards have changed after five years of recovery from the Great Recession, how this differs between different groups, and the implications for inequality and poverty.
Briefing note
This report argues that ongoing reforms to local government finance risk a growing funding gap for adult social care and conflict with efforts to provide consistent and high-quality care services across the country.
Briefing note
Once again, a rancorous debate has flared over whether the UK should remain within ‘a’ or ‘the’ customs union with the EU following Brexit. Leaving the EU Customs Union would likely create additional costs for UK firms trading with the EU. However, it would also give the UK greater freedom ...
Briefing note
Jonathan Cribb, Andrew Hood and Jack Hoyle
The falls in the proportion of young adults owning their own home have been documented in previous work. In this briefing note, we provide up-to-date analysis of these falls in homeownership, and which groups of young adults have seen the sharpest falls.
Briefing note
In the early 1990s, average hourly wages were almost 30% lower for women than for men. The gender wage gap has come down, but it remains at around 20%. There are lots of reasons for the scale and persistence of this gap, but new work funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows that one important ...
Briefing note
Following a recent judgment, the UK Supreme Court confirmed that Scottish Government legislation for a minimum unit price for alcohol is lawful. The Scottish Government plans to introduce the measure on 1 May 2018. Meanwhile, the Welsh National Assembly is considering introducing a minimum unit ...