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On the up

The economic outlook is improving, says the Institute for Fiscal Studies, but problems lay ahead


  • Real wages are likely to rise in 2014.
  • Increasing the personal allowance further may not help the lower paid.
  • Does spending on childcare need to increase?
  • Cap the tax-free pension lump sum.

The economy is growing but do not be lulled into a false sense of security said Paul Johnson director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) when he introduced the think-tank’s 2014 Green Budget on 5 February.

The additional spending cuts proposed in autumn put the UK on course to have in 2018/19 its first budget surplus since 2000/01. Even so national debt in that year is still forecast to be 76% of national income.

Just paying the interest on this debt is forecast to take up nearly 4% of national income and...

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