Posts from NIESR staff and visitors on research findings and policy.

Posted: 1 December, 2015 - 14:25 with: Comments
The Prime Minister’s claim that “around 40 percent of all recent European Economic Area migrants are supported by the UK benefits system” has been widely criticised (see my brief explanation here) and the UK Statistics Authority has made clear that it is very displeased that Number 10 chose to use unpublished (and inconsisten

James Warren

Jack Meaning

Simon Kirby

Posted: 25 November, 2015 - 17:24 with: Comments
The current fiscal mandate’s target is an absolute budget surplus by 2019-20, maintaining this surplus for each subsequent year. In the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) forecast, published today[1], this target is met, with public sector net borrowing (PSNB) reaching £10.1bn (0.5 per cent of nominal GDP) in 2019-20. Achieving this target implies a fiscal consolidation this parliament broadly equivalent to that experienced in the last, of roughly 6 per cent of GDP, although the composition is somewhat changed.

Dr Monique Ebell

Posted: 25 November, 2015 - 17:02 with: Comments
Many of the tax credit cuts announced by Chancellor George Osborne in the 2015 Budget were rolled back today. This is a welcome move. However, the Chancellor is going ahead with pre-announced plans to  cut Universal Credit. These cuts will not affect households which are currently receiving tax credits, as they will benefit from transitional protection. The cuts to Universal Credit (UC) will, however, apply to new claimants as UC is rolled out across the country.

Jessica Baker

Rebecca Piggott

Oriol Carreras

Simon Kirby

Posted: 25 November, 2015 - 16:56 with: Comments
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) updated their macroeconomic forecast today. The outlook remains one of continued moderate output growth (marginally below 2½ per cent per annum) and is very similar to the forecast that we produced earlier this month. Figure 1 plots both forecasts together, along with a fan chart that summarizes the uncertainty around NIESR’s forecast, highlighting the lack of discernible difference between the two forecasts. Figure 1

Dr Angus Armstrong

Posted: 25 November, 2015 - 16:13 with: Comments
The Chancellor has announced £7bn of housing market subsidies to encourage property developers (including local authorities and housing associations) to deliver up to 400,000 additional affordable homes over the next five years. The twist is that the new homes will be aimed at the owner occupation rather than rental market. This is clearly good news for would-be homeowners and developers. But does it make long-term sense for the country?

Jonathan Portes

Posted: 16 November, 2015 - 11:00 with: Comments
I attended the annual Centre for European Reform conference at Ditchley Park earlier this month, with the topic “Has the euro been a failure?”.  The conference was attended by a fairly impressive list of British and continental European economists and policymakers.