IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cep/spccwp/22.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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

Author

Listed:
  • Paola De Agostini
  • John Hills
  • Holly Sutherland

Abstract

This paper examines the distributional impacts of the changes to benefits, tax credits, pensions and direct taxes between the UK Elections in May 2010 and in May 2015. It also looks ahead to the longer-term effects of changes and plans that were announced by the 2010-2015 Coalition government, such as the complete introduction of Universal Credit and changes to the ways benefits, pensions and tax brackets are indexed from year to year, modelling what effects these would have after five more years. It shows that the changes 2010-15 did not have a common effect on all household incomes and nor did the direct tax-benefit changes contribute to deficit reduction. In effect reductions in benefits and tax credits financed part of the cuts in direct taxes. We find that the relative extent to which the changes most favoured the rich or the poor is sensitive to a wide range of analytical choices and assumptions, but under most sets of assumptions 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 impact of the changes was regressive. Looking forward to the effects that Coalition policies would have had by 2020 we find a more strongly regressive picture but with open questions about the effect of Universal Credit on those not currently receiving their entitlements to means-tested payments, and so potentially increasing some of the lowest incomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Paola De Agostini & John Hills & Holly Sutherland, 2015. "Were we really all in it together? The distributional effects of the 2010-2015 UK Coalition government's tax-benefit policy changes: an end-of-term update," CASE - Social Policy in a Cold Climate Working Paper 22, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:spccwp:22
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/case/spcc/wp22.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Holly Sutherland & Francesco Figari, 2013. "EUROMOD: the European Union tax-benefit microsimulation model," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 1(6), pages 4-26.
    2. Holly Sutherland & Ruth Hancock & John Hills & Francesca Zantomio, 2008. "Keeping up or Falling behind? The Impact of Benefit and Tax Uprating on Incomes and Poverty," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 29(4), pages 467-498, December.
    3. Stuart Adam & James Browne, 2010. "Redistribution, work incentives and thirty years of UK tax and benefit reform," IFS Working Papers W10/24, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    4. Robert Joyce & Luke Sibieta, 2013. "An assessment of Labour’s record on income inequality and poverty," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(1), pages 178-202, SPRING.
    5. Brewer, Mike & De Agostini, Paola, 2015. "Credit crunched: single parents, Universal Credit and the struggle to make work pay," EUROMOD Working Papers EM3/15, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    6. Brewer, Mike & De Agostini, Paola, 2015. "The National Minimum Wage and its interaction with the tax and benefits system: a focus on Universal Credit," EUROMOD Working Papers EM2/15, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    7. Mike Brewer & James Browne & Wenchao Jin, 2012. "Universal Credit: A Preliminary Analysis of Its Impact on Incomes and Work Incentives," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 33(1), pages 39-71, March.
    8. John Hills & Alari Paulus & Holly Sutherland & Iva Tasseva, 2014. "A lost decade? Decomposing the effect of 2001-11 tax-benefit policy changes on the income distribution in EU countries," ImPRovE Working Papers 14/03, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Chrysa Leventi & Holly Sutherland & Iva Valentinova Tasseva, 2016. "Improving poverty reduction in Europe: what works (best) where?," ImPRovE Working Papers 16/16, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income distribution; direct taxes; social security; United Kingdom; Coalition government;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:spccwp:22. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/case/_new/publications/default.asp .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.