Voters prevented from making an informed choice

28 April 2010

Director of the IFS Robert Chote has accused all three main parties of being “vague on their plans for public spending” in their plans to repair public finances.

Speaking at a press briefing to present analysis on public finances, taxes and benefits, Mr Chote said voters were being prevented from making an informed choice.

"Repairing the public finances will be the defining domestic policy task of the next government. For the voters to be able to make an informed choice in this election, the parties need to explain clearly how they would go about achieving it. Unfortunately, they have not.

"The opposition parties have not even set out their fiscal targets clearly. And all three are particularly vague on their plans for public spending. The blame for that lies primarily with the Government for refusing to hold a Spending Review before the election.”

Funded by the Nuffield Foundation, the IFS presentations compare the three main UK parties’ plans to repair the public finances, and their tax and benefit proposals. They examine what the parties have said (explicitly and implicitly) about the scale, timing and composition of the fiscal repair job ahead, teasing out the differences and similarities.

The presentations also offer discussion of tax and benefit proposals, looking at their economic and administrative merits, their distributional impact and their effect on incentives to work and save.

They are the latest in a series of pre-election briefings and are essential reading for anyone keen to understand the truth behind economic policy in the UK.

All the briefings are available to download from the IFS website.