Box sets » July 2012

ONS’s new statistics on UK pension liabilities
In April 2012, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the first set of new statistics on the total gross liabilities of UK pension providers, including the UK government. This box explored how the ONS’ pension liability estimates were calculated for public service pensions and state pensions, and compared the public service estimate to the Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) methodology.
Fiscal drag and price uprating
We updated our 2011 analysis of fiscal drag on income tax and NICs to reflect new data, our latest assumptions and the effect of measures announced over the past year. This box outlined how fiscal drag effects income tax and NICs receipts and the long-term assumptions used.
European Commission estimates of ageing pressures
The European Commission (EC) produces its own analysis of ageing pressures for member states every three years. This box contrasted the forecast made by the EC and the OBR for UK age related spending such as pensions, health care and long-term care.
Sensitivity to age and gender profiles
The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) produce generational accounts estimates for the UK. The OBR produces its own long-term projections by using profiles that break down spending by year of age. This box compared the differences in public finance forecasts between the OBR and the NIESR with the latter implying a lower level of net debt by 2061‑62.

Fiscal categories: Public spending, Departmental spending, Health

Cross-cutting categories: External forecasts, Demographics

Some researchers argue that the fiscal position is unsustainable if future generations are left to make a larger net contribution to the government’s finances than today’s generation. Generational accounts such as those produced by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) consider intergenerational equity. This box analysed this as a measure of assessing fiscal sustainability.

Fiscal categories: Inter-temporal budget

Cross-cutting categories: Ageing population, Demographics