What might have been without the recession and Brexit

By Michael Burton | 09 October 2019
  • Michael Burton

Much of the coverage from this week’s Green Budget report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has focused on how the Government is going to fund its 4.4% increase in public spending, let alone handle the impact of Brexit. Of interest however, is what lies underneath the headline figures.

For example, it is gloomily absorbing, though academic, to speculate on what might have been. The IFS has created a ‘doppelganger’ of the UK economy which concludes that if there had been no Leave result in the 2016 referendum, the economy now would be 2.5%-3% of GDP larger than it is, or around £55bn-£66bn. That is a lot of missed tax revenues that could have funded social care. The IFS also previously referred to ‘the lost decade’ since the global recession, estimating that had GDP continued from 2008 at its assumed rate, the economy now would be 14% larger. 

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