Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Were we really all in it together? The distributional effects of the 2010-2015 UK Coalition government's tax-benefit policy changes

De Agostini, Paula, Hills, John and Sutherland, Holly (2018) Were we really all in it together? The distributional effects of the 2010-2015 UK Coalition government's tax-benefit policy changes. Social Policy and Administration, 52 (5). pp. 929-949. ISSN 0144-5596

[img]
Preview
Text - Accepted Version
Download (616kB) | Preview

Identification Number: 10.1111/spol.12344

Abstract

This article examines the distributional impacts of changes to benefits, tax credits, pensions and direct taxes between the UK general elections of May 2010 and May 2015. The changes did not have a common effect on all household incomes; nor did the direct tax-benefit changes contribute to deficit reduction. Effectively, reductions in benefits and tax credits financed part of the direct taxes cuts, but the overall net fiscal cost increased pressure for cuts in other public services and increases in other (more regressive) taxes. The main gains were in the upper middle of the income distribution, and the main losers were at the bottom and those close to, but not at, the very top. Across most of the distribution the changes were regressive. By comparing with other analyses of policy changes in the same period, we illustrate the importance of analytical choices and assumptions for detailed conclusions on their distributional effects. We also show how some groups were clear losers or gained little on average – including lone parent families, large families and families with younger children. Others were gainers, including two-earner couples, and those in their fifties and early sixties. The findings show that a dominant feature of the period was that the combination of higher tax-free income tax allowances, financed by cuts in benefits and tax credits, was generally regressive. As this combination also lies at the heart of the proposed policies of the Conservative government since 2015, we would expect these effects to be intensified in the coming years.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(IS...
Additional Information: © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Divisions: Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE)
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2017 10:21
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2019 23:00
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/82895

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics