Tag Archives: Institute of Fiscal Studies

IFS: Labour fees plan will not make any difference to repayments by the poorer half of graduates

Interviewed by Mark Mardell on the BBC’s World at One yesterday, Paul Johnson, Director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies made these comments about Labour’s tuition fee plans:

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Institute of Fiscal studies: Labour’s tuition fees plan would “benefit higher income graduates”

In a detailed report, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, on Labour’s higher education funding plans, the Institute of Fiscal Studies concludes:

The reform to HE funding announced by Labour on 27th February would:

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Well, that rather blows a hole in the Yes campaign’s NHS claims, doesn’t it?

I don’t often use the word “lies” in politics. I save it for the most egregious examples of political dishonesty. One which has made me incredibly angry recently has been the Yes campaign’s utterly dishonest campaign on the NHS. They argued that a Yes vote was the only way to protect the NHS, saying that privatisation in England meant that there would be less in funding through the Barnett Formula. Preying on the fears of some of the most vulnerable people in our society is completely unacceptable.

The Institute of Fiscal Studies has just, to put it mildly, proved the Yes campaign wrong. This is what they have to say:

Independence would give the Scottish government more freedom to set spending and tax policies. It would also, in principle, have more freedom to borrow. That freedom would be constrained by the size of the debt it would likely inherit and the willingness of markets to lend. On most plausible scenarios it is hard to see how an independent Scotland could “end austerity” in the short run. In work published this summer we showed how, on the basis of the independent OBR’s oil forecasts, an independent Scotland would likely still have a deficit of 2.9% of GDP (borrowing of about £800 per person in today’s terms) by 2018-19 even if it followed current UK government tax and spending plans – plans that are forecast to lead to the UK as a whole actually having a small budget surplus by the same year. In this case an independent Scotland would need to implement bigger spending cuts (or more tax rises) than the UK as a whole or try to borrow more. This means it would likely be harder rather than easier to protect the NHS.

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To OBR or not to OBR? That’s the manifesto audit question

libdemmanifesto 2010 wordleEd Balls wants it. Danny Alexander seems pretty keen on it, too. What is ‘it’? Asking the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) to audit the manifestos of political parties.

On the face of it, that’s a good idea. Transparency’s a good thing and surely the public deserve to know as much as possible before we cast our once-in-five-years ballot which decides the next government? The case in favour is persuasively put by Giles Wilkes, until recently a special adviser to Vince Cable who has seen the …

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IFS say marriage tax break is symbolic and of little benefit to children.

Liberal Democrats generally don’t need to be persuaded that the Tories’ marriage tax break idea, on which they’d like to blow half a billion quid, is an ineffective and entirely wrong-headed idea.

However it’s always useful to have more ammunition against it. The Telegraph reports that the Institute of Fiscal Studies take the view that education and wealth of parents is far more significant to children than whether their parents are married:

Research shows that children whose parents are married make better progress at school and are more emotionally stable than those whose parents co-habit.

However, the IFS has found that this

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Eric Avebury writes … LibDems should oppose Tory measures against the poor

The Children’s Society reveals that 1.2 million school age children in poverty aren’t getting free school meals, 700,000 because they aren’t even entitled to them.

At the same time the Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill comes into force, under which almost two thirds of the money saved comes from the poorest households. According to the Department for Work and Pensions, the effect of the Bill is to increase child poverty by 200,000 children. The Institute of Fiscal Studies estimates that by 2015/16 there will be 300,000 more children in poverty than today.

The bedroom tax, which kicks in this month, affects 660,000 lower …

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