IFS Green Budget
February 5, 2014
Welcome to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)’s 2014 Green Budget. In the following pages, we discuss some of the many issues confronting Chancellor George Osborne as he prepares his fifth Budget. Despite the relatively positive recent data, with growth increasing and unemployment falling, the largest challenge for the Chancellor remains having to contend with the consequences of the Great Recession for the public finances and household incomes.
In this book, we examine in detail some of the key risks to the Chancellor’s plans for reducing the deficit. We set out in detail what has been happening in the housing market and the role of government policies aimed, at least in part, at boosting homeownership. We also document what has been happening to incomes across the distribution and compare this with the rates of inflation that different types of households have been facing. We examine how the UK energy market operates, and discuss in detail policy options for increasing state support for childcare, improving the taxation of private pensions and reforming business rates.
As ever, we collaborate with others to write the macroeconomic chapters. We are grateful to Oxford Economics, and in particular to Andrew Goodwin, Oliver Salmon and Adam Slater, for the chapters they have contributed on the outlook for the UK economy and the global economy.
This year we offer our particular thanks to the Nuffield Foundation for the funding it has provided to support the Green Budget. Our most important aim for the Green Budget is to influence policy and inform the public debate. It is particularly appropriate then that it should be supported by the Nuffield Foundation, for which these are also central aims.
We are also extremely grateful for the continuing support that ESRC provides for our ongoing research work via the Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy at IFS. This underpins all our analysis in this volume.
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