Wednesday, November 30, 2011
The IFS on the Autumn Statement
Posted by David Smith at 04:30 PM
Category: Thoughts and responses

The Institute for Fiscal Studies' assessments of Budgets and Autumn Statements is always worth reading and the latest is available here.

The IFS settles one argument - that borrowing and debt would be higher under Labour: "With the worse economic outlook, their slower fiscal squeeze with smaller tax rises and less deep spending cuts would, if it had been implemented, now of course have implied even higher debt levels over this parliament than those we will in fact see. That would have left an even bigger job to do in the next parliament."

The headlines, however, will be attracted by this: "Again we are running out of superlatives to describe just how extraordinary are some of these changes. Our own estimates suggest that real median household incomes will be no higher in 201516 than they were in 200203, more than a decade without any increase in living standards for those in the middle of the income distribution. We estimate that in the period 2009-10 to 2012-13 real median household incomes will drop by a whopping 7.4% - another record matched only by the falls seen between 1974 and 1977."