Institute for Fiscal Studies

Analysis of General Election policy proposals from main political parties






November 2023 to Spring 2025




Project summary

As the general election approaches, the IFS will present rigorous, evidence-based and independent analysis of key policy issues in areas such as the public finances, living standards, working-age benefits, taxation and public services.


With living standards stagnating, taxes reaching new highs and public services under strain, fiscal and economic policies will be central to the coming election.

The UK is not short of policy challenges in dire need of attention. On too many occasions, across too many policy areas, the UK has ducked the big challenges and failed to face up to difficult choices and trade-offs. Whoever is in office after the general election may well have to increase taxes further. Cuts to both public service spending and to working age benefits in the period since 2010 make suggestions of further spending cuts look unrealistic. The upcoming election campaign is an opportunity to debate realistic policy options that match up to the scale of the challenges at hand.

Project overview

The proposed work will enhance the quality of debate in the run up to the election by producing publications and commentary setting out the economic and social context, the big challenges that need to be addressed, and the barriers to doing so. These will cover:

  • Public finances
  • Public service spending
  • Taxation
  • Living standards
  • Working-age benefits
  • Childcare.

The IFS will respond to domestic policy proposals and themes as they come up in debates in advance of the publication of manifestos. It will also provide comparative analysis of the domestic policies in the Conservative and Labour parties’ manifestos alongside any significant policies from the SNP, Liberal Democrat and Green parties. As well as producing public outputs the IFS will meet with senior politicians from the main political parties and their advisers to share analysis and expertise to help them formulate better policy proposals. The work is being co-funded by the Nuffield Foundation