General Election Briefing

Past, Present and Future of Immigration

Immigration was one of the main issues around the UK’s decision to leave the EU. The outcome of the General Election is likely to determine the design of a future immigration system, with party proposals ranging from the introduction of a post-Brexit “Australian-style” points system, to continuing free movement within the EU. This briefing focuses on:

The Macroeconomics of Parties' Tax and Spending Plans

Most economic analyses of parties’ tax and spending promises treat the government’s budget like that of a household, ignoring the impact of proposed policies on the economy.  This briefing aims to fill this gap by providing a macroeconomic assessment of announced fiscal policies. It focuses on:

UK Trade and Trade Policy after Brexit

International trade plays a crucial role in fostering economic growth across a wide range of industries at the national and the regional level. The prospects for UK’s international trade are closely tied to the future relationship between the UK and the EU. Voters are being offered a wide spectrum of choices, ranging from continued membership to the EU, a customs union-type relationship by the Labour party, a looser arrangement under a free trade agreement with the governing Conservative party, and a clean break with trade on WTO terms with the Brexit party.

The Economic Backdrop

This briefing focuses on:

  • The state of the UK economy and UK-wide living standards going into the election.
  • The causes of slow growth and the need for supply-side reforms.


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Places and Spaces: Mapping Britain's Regional Divides

Economic performance varies widely across towns, cities and rural areas in the UK. Spatial disparities are found in all industrialised countries, although on some measures the UK is significantly more unequal than comparable countries. These disparities are matter for people because local social and economic conditions directly affect individual living standards. In fact, research shows clearly that where you are born has a large effect on your opportunities in life.

Where is the money coming from?

The main political parties have meticulously set out costings of their spending plans for the next Parliament and how they would finance them if elected.  This briefing focuses on:

  • The fiscal rules adopted by the political parties.
  • The underlying fiscal position and how it has changed since the last Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast was published in March.
  • The fiscal outlook on the basis of each of the political parties’ plans.
  • The credibility of the fiscal plans.


The Fiscal Rules

The election campaign has focussed on the tax and spending plans of the main political parties, this brief outlines:

  • The case for fiscal rules as part of the country’s strategy of macroeconomic management.
  • The need for comprehensive reform of the process of setting fiscal policy.
  • This brief accompanies: “Where is the Money Coming from?”


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The Future Path of The Minimum Wage

Labour and the Conservatives both plan historically high increases to the UK minimum wage, aiming to use the minimum wage as an important tool in raising living standards. This briefing focuses on:

  • The current minimum wage structure and how the rates are determined;
  • The future path of the National Living Wage and the future structure of the National Minimum Wage youth rates, including an assessment of the proposals of both main parties.

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