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Our goal at the Institute for Fiscal Studies is to promote effective economic and social policies by better understanding how policies affect individuals, families, businesses and the government's finances.

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Councils have been responsible for supporting low-income households in England to meet council tax bills for 6 years but in the face of funding cuts from central government, many have chosen to significantly reduce support. At an event on 29 January, IFS researchers will discuss the impacts on councils and low-income households.
Why do we still risk emitting far too much carbon, ending up with a no-deal Brexit and doing little effectively to tackle inequality?
Each year IFS researchers present a series of public economics lectures to students. Videos of the lectures held in January 2019, and related resources, are now available. Topics covered are: taxes, benefits and labour supply, income inequality; early childhood development; corrective taxes; the taxation of goods and services; health and social insurance; and the ageing population and pensions.
The government has announced changes to the ‘two-child limit’ in tax credits and Universal Credit. However, this reform does not change the fact that, in the long-run, the policy reduces the extent to which the benefits system supports larger families.


Upcoming event
Date 29 January 2019 | 10:30 - 12:00
Location Institute for Fiscal Studies, London
Availablity Places available
Support for low-income households in England to meet their council tax bills has now been the responsibility of councils for almost 6 years. In the face of funding cuts from central government, many have chosen to significantly cut council tax support (CTS). In many areas, even the lowest-income households have been handed local tax bills for the first time since the poll tax.
Upcoming event
Date 25 February 2019 | 18:00 - 20:00
Location The British Academy, London
Availablity Places available
Over recent years HMRC have gained significant additional powers to enforce tax law, against a backdrop of public and political anger about 'tax dodging' of borth the illegal and legal kinds.
Upcoming event
Date 27 February 2019 | 18:30 - 20:00
Location The Royal Institution, London
Availablity Places available
Debates about welfare policy are invariably controversial, going right to the heart of what kind of society we want to be. This IFS at 50 event will set out the trade-offs that make this such an important and difficult area, how and why our approach has changed so radically over time, and how evidence can help us design policy better.

Publications and research

By 2022 more than one in five families with children are set to lose at least some of their Child Benefit - up from one in eight when the policy was introduced.
There's too much distance between academic research and the work of government. That means there's still plenty of space for organisations like the IFS which can bridge the gap, 50 years after we were founded.
A healthier population is likely to be more economically productive (and to need less spending on healthcare and health-related benefits). A more prosperous society is likely to be healthier.
Last week, the government published a consultation on its plans for a national 75% business rates retention from the following year, 2020–21. It shows that the funding from local taxes available in the new system is unlikely to keep pace with rising spending pressures in coming years.
In a new edition of our peer-reviewed journal 'Fiscal Studies', we publish five new papers by researchers who are world experts in issues of immigration, trade, firm performance, industrial policy and the effects of uncertainty.
Today, the Office for National Statistics has announced that it will be revising the treatment of student loans in the public finances. This is a sensible move as it aligns the accounting treatment more closely with economic reality.

News and announcements