IFS launches election 2015 website

Download the PDF

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.

In a major new programme of work, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, researchers at the IFS are analysing what happened over this parliament and the implications of the different parties’ fiscal policies. Today our new election analysis website (http://election2015.ifs.org.uk/) goes live. It provides initial analysis of what has happened to the public finances, public spending, living standards, earnings, inequality, tax, welfare, pensions, education and productivity over the last five years. Much more will follow.

The following are highlights currently on our website:

  • The deficit has been halved as a proportion of national income since 2009–10, but at £90 billion it is more than twice as large as was originally planned by this government;
  • The government has implemented a substantial programme of pension reform which will rationalise – and over the long run cut – state pension provision. Cuts to public service pensions have been significant, but they remain much more generous than private sector pensions;

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”.


Notes to Editors

1. The above highlights have been taken from a selection of previously published briefing notes and reports, all of which appear on our election 2015 website and are intended to act as a useful resource. In coming months we will publish in excess of 10 new election briefing notes, all of which will be accompanied by IFS press releases or observations.

2. For further information please contact: Bonnie Brimstone at IFS: 020 7291 4818 / 07730 667013, bonnie_b@ifs.org.uk

 3. The Nuffield Foundation is an endowed charitable trust that aims to improve social well-being in the widest sense. It funds research and innovation in education and social policy and also works to build capacity in education, science and social science research. The Nuffield Foundation has funded this project, but the views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Foundation. More information is available at http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org

4. Support from the ESRC through the Centre for Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy (CPP) is gratefully acknowledged.


This page was last updated on