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IFS launches election 2015 website

By Nuffield Foundation

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has launched its new election website, funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

The website features analysis of what has happened over this parliament and the implications of the different parties’ fiscal policies.

As the general election approaches the governing and opposition parties are making claim and counter claim not just about each other’s policies, but about what has actually happened over the past five years. Now more than ever careful, objective, accurate analysis is required to assess the claims and put the facts in the public domain.

Analysis covers public finances, public spending, living standards, earnings, inequality, tax, welfare, pensions, education and productivity over the last five years. Current highlights include (all links go to the IFS website):

Paul Johnson, IFS Director, said: “The last five years have been extraordinary. Earnings have fallen and productivity is well below expectations but, given economic performance, employment is amazingly high. Average living standards have been stagnant. While the deficit has been halved it remains much bigger than planned.

The shape of the state has changed as some spending has been cut dramatically while spending on pensions and health has risen. Taxes overall have risen but the corporate tax rate has been reduced to among the lowest in the G20. Benefit cuts have hit lower income households, but many on average incomes and above have been spared the effects of austerity. The richest have seen the biggest tax increases. Education funding and pension systems have been reformed.

Understanding these facts, what they mean for policy, and exactly what the different parties’ policies are, should be crucial to the choices people make on 7th May. We hope that the research we have done at the IFS, and new analysis we will publish over the coming months, will help inform those choices”.

By Nuffield Foundation

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We improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in EducationWelfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

We offer our grant-holders the freedom to frame questions and enable new thinking. Our research must stand up to rigorous academic scrutiny, but we understand that to be successful in effecting change, it also needs to be relevant to people’s experience.