IFS analysis for the 2017 general election

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In this observation, we examine the main parties’ proposals for spending on 16-18 education in England, which includes students in School Sixth Forms, Sixth Form Colleges and Further Education Colleges. This area of education receives considerably less attention in public debate than other areas and seems not to have been a major spending priority for policymakers over recent decades.

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On 30 May the SNP published their manifesto for the upcoming UK parliamentary elections. In this context, this observation examines the state of Scotland’s underlying public finances and how they might evolve over the next few years given current economic forecasts.

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The Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos all contained commitments to increase NHS spending over the next parliament. In this observation we set out what these commitments are likely to mean for the path of health spending in England going forwards, and put this in the context of the pressures faced by the health service from an ageing population.

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IFS researchers presented analysis of the manifestos at a briefing on Friday 26 May. Presentations compared the  parties' plans on public spending, the public finances  and reforms to taxes and benefits. The briefing was live-streamed and a recording will be posted shortly.

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In this observation, we detail what the commitments outlined in the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos on education spending would mean for the path of overall school spending in England and the prospects for continued reform of the school funding system.

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Yesterday, the Conservative Party proposed changes to the rules governing who is eligible for government funding for social care, and backed away from a lifetime cap on care costs. In this observation, we discuss those changes and lay out their potential effects.

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Recruitment and retention problems are beginning to emerge in the public sector following successive years of public pay restraint. The main parties’ plans for future public sector pay settlements differ significantly.  A new IFS briefing note analyses the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat plans for public sector pay, and what the implications of their policies are for the public sector.

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In a comment piece in The Times, IFS Director Paul Johnson reflects on the Conservative and Labour manifestos.

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Today’s Conservative manifesto announced that from 2020 onwards the state pension would be increased over time in line with average earnings or inflation whichever is highest – the so-called ‘Double Lock’. In this observation we show that this is very similar to sticking with the Triple Lock, and does little to resolve the pressures an ageing population will put on the public finances over the years to come.

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Childcare and early years provision has become an important area of debate in this election, with both the Labour party and the Liberal Democrats promising to substantially extend eligibility for free childcare.This Observation looks and the possible impact and cost of the Labour and Liberal Democrat proposals.

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The Liberal Democrat manifesto published today includes commitments to increase all rates of income tax by 1 percentage point as well as cancelling a number of significant benefit cuts and reversing others. In this observation we provide an overview of these proposals and compare them to the income tax and benefit proposals published by Labour yesterday.

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Today the Labour Party has announced that if elected it would introduce a 45% income tax rate on incomes over £80,000, and a 50% rate on incomes over £123,000. A new IFS Briefing Note analyses the impact of this proposal if it were introduced UK-wide immediately.