Category Archive: Featured article

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Publication of Working paper No. 21: Developments in devolved income tax

In this paper, we take a comprehensive look at the evolution of the significant and widening gap in the amount of income tax paid per person in Scotland and Wales relative to the UK as a whole, exploring the drivers behind the changes in order to identify trends that should be factored into our devolved…

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Publication of Working paper No.20: A review of welfare policy costings

Since its creation, the OBR has scrutinised over 250 policy costings relating to changes in the benefits and tax credits systems. This paper looks back at how our scrutiny of those policy costings has evolved by reviewing ten case studies of major welfare policy changes taken from the 41 welfare policy announcements made by the…

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Publication of Discussion paper No.4: Next steps for climate change analysis

Over the last five years, the OBR has made great efforts to understand and analyse the fiscal implications of climate change. To date, our analysis has focused primarily on mitigation risks, most notably in the climate change chapter of our 2021 Fiscal risks report (FRR) which provided the UK’s first comprehensive estimate of the fiscal…

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Publication of Working paper No.18: Emissions and our tax forecasts

Several of the UK’s tax bases are directly linked to activities that generate greenhouse gas emissions, with others indirectly linked. So as emissions fall as the UK transitions to net zero, receipts generated from these emissions-linked taxes will be affected. In this working paper, we conduct an initial, high-level analysis to explore the proportion of…

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IMF praises OBR in transparency review

The depth and breadth of the economic and fiscal analysis published by the OBR “can be considered as best-practice, and could be used as a benchmark by other advanced countries”, according to the International Monetary Fund’s Fiscal Transparency Evaluation for the UK. “While it is still relatively early in its track record, the OBR’s forecasting…

Front cover to 'a view from the kennel'

Britain’s fiscal watchdog: a view from the kennel

This speech by Robert Chote describes the role of the OBR and how it compares to the structure of other fiscal councils around the world. It also looks at how the OBR has made a difference to the fiscal forecasting process and improved transparency of the official forecasts for the UK economy and public finances.