The Chancellor made his Pre-Budget statement on Monday 5th December. IFS held a briefing on the following day, Tuesday 6th December; slides from the briefing are available here:
Green Budget 2005
The IFS Green Budget 2005 examines the Chancellor's options for the Budget. Areas covered include the fiscal policy framework, the public finances and spending plans, distributional analysis, childcare policy and company taxation. As the Green Budget was carried out in collaboration with Morgan Stanley this year, it also includes their analysis of the economic outlook and funding and debt management.
In a series of briefing notes, our coverage of the 2005 election debate also considered many of these issues including: the public finances and spending; taxation; tax and benefit changes; living standards, inequality and poverty; business taxes and productivity; employment and the labour market; higher education; childcare, early education and work-life balance; and pension and saving policy.
- In a short press release, we gave an initial reaction to the impact on the public finances of the Pre-Budget Report.
- Since October 2002 IFS has produced monthly bulletins analysing the government's public finance figures. A recent working paper, Updating the UK's code for fiscal stability, looks at what improvements might be made to the code in the light of recent experiences.
- In a briefing note in the summer 2004, we laid out the challenges facing the Chancellor in his spending review; in the run-up to the 2005 election, we described Labour's record and the possible effects of the three main parties' proposals on the public finances and public spending.
- In articles for Public Finance Magazine, Robert Chote sums up the current situation in the public finances; Carl Emmerson and Chris Frayne talk about the fiscal rules; another article in the Guardian in September outlined possible problems ahead for the Chancellor.
Saving for retirement
A new IFS report (October 2005) provides new empirical evidence on the level and distribution of retirement saving in England. For the first time in recent years, we have been able to estimate accrued state and private pension wealth to include in our measures of retirement saving.
Our briefing notes, A survey of the UK tax system (Briefing Note 9, updated November 2004), A survey of the UK benefit system (Briefing Note 13, updated November 2004) and the new A survey of public spending in the UK (Briefing Note 43, September 2004) include changes implemented after the 2004 Budget. Another briefing note, The government's fiscal rules, describes the government's two fiscal rules and discusses the uncertainty inherent in forecasting the public finances.