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IFS at 50: The future of tax

The next event in the "Future of Policy" event series is the Future of Income in Retirement on 25 June, featuring Carl Emmerson (Deputy Director, IFS), Sir Steve Webb (Royal London, former Pensions Minister and IFS alumnus) and Professor Sarah Harper (Founding Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing). Find more information and book your place for that event here.

You can watch the video from the Future of Tax event, and download Helen's slides, here.

The British economy is going to face a number of big issues over the next fifty years. Whether it is reforming the tax and benefit system, managing an ageing population, or preparing for the workplace of the future, there are plenty of challenges and opportunities ahead.

Tax underpins everything the government does and is often used by policy makers to try to shape the economy. Tax is also central to citizens’ views on whether our society is fair. Helen Miller will look at how tax has changed in recent decades and what it means to aspire to a well-designed tax system. She will then join John Kay (economist, author and former IFS Director) and Ben Page (Ipsos Mori) for a conversation about how taxation will have to change to address the challenges of the future.


Helen Miller

Helen Miller is a Deputy Director and head of the Tax sector at IFS. Her main research interests are the effects of the tax system on individuals' and firms' behaviour and the design of tax policy. She was previously an editor of Fiscal Studies and the IFS's annual Green Budget, and is Tolley’s 2018 Tax Personality of the Year.

John Kay

John Kay is one of Britain's leading economists. He is a contributing editor at the Financial Times and the author of many books, most recently including The Long and the Short of It and Other People’s Money. John became research director of IFS in 1979 when the Institute had two researchers in a sublet office. When he resigned as Director in 1986 to pursue other interests, the Institute had 20 research staff, a (relatively) secure funding base, and the reputation  for fierce independence it maintains to this day.

Ben Page

Ben Page is Chief Executive of Ipsos MORI. Since 1992 he has worked closely with both Conservative and Labour ministers and senior policy makers across government, leading on work for Downing Street, the Cabinet Office, the Home Office and the Department of Health.

About the Future of Policy series

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, and to mark the occasion we will be holding a series of events throughout the year where we draw on this experience to consider these big issues and discuss what evidence-based analysis can tell us about how to understand and respond to them. Events in this series will feature expert insight from IFS researchers and key commentators on each topic, and there will be plenty of time for discussion and debate.

Other events in the series include:

27 February: The future of benefits
25 June: The future of income in retirement
28 October: The future of education

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Find out more

Past event
Debates about welfare policy are invariably controversial, going right to the heart of what kind of society we want to be. This IFS at 50 event will set out the trade-offs that make this such an important and difficult area, how and why our approach has changed so radically over time, and how evidence can help us design policy better.
Past event
Little is more important to our society and economy than the effectiveness of our education system. This IFS at 50 event will look at how spending on and effectiveness of the different stages of education have changed over time, how well children from different social backgrounds do, and what the big challenges are for the future.