Questions and answers about
the UK economy.

New PostNations, regions & cities

How might an independent Scotland build fiscal capacity?

Scotland currently has limited tax-raising powers: its government does not collect or legislate over the broad-based taxes that are needed for high fiscal capacity. Developing a sense of common purpose is critical for nation-building – and it would be a key issue for an independent Scotland.

Talking Economics

Our first annual conference took place in Bristol on 17-19 November 2021. Click here to see the full programme and listen back to the talks.

Nations, regions & cities

What might the public finances of an independent Scotland look like?

With higher levels of public spending but lower tax revenues than the UK average, Scotland would likely have a large budget deficit were it to become independent, which may make spending cuts or tax rises necessary. The long-term fiscal outlook would depend on the performance of the Scottish economy.

Attitudes, media & governance

How important is economics in the debate on Scottish independence?

Voters’ perceptions of the economic outcomes of independence played an important role in the result of Scotland’s referendum in 2014. Following Brexit, the debate is no longer just about Scotland’s relationship with the rest of the UK, but also the European Union.

Prices & interest rates

What is supply chain inflation and why is it driving up consumer prices now?

The interconnectedness of global supply chains means that when one price goes up, others tend to follow. Increases in labour, energy and transport costs are contributing to inflation around the world, posing difficult policy challenges.

Data Hub

Live and interactive charts and visualisations, making sense of the latest numbers

Jobs, work, pay & benefits

What is happening with UK wages?

While headline figures for wages have recently suggested rapid growth, average settlements are 2-3% – and pay is certainly not going up as fast as consumer prices. Real wages are only likely to rise if either productivity growth accelerates or workers have greater bargaining power.

Data stories

What do the latest data tell us about the UK labour market?

The UK labour market seems to have bounced back to pre-pandemic levels. But new data reveal that part-time work has dropped significantly, while the number of claimants of unemployment benefits remains higher than two years ago. There are also different rates of recovery across regions.

Recession & recovery

Will inflation take off in the UK?

Inflation is likely to rise from its current low level due to supply shortages and increased spending. The most probable outcome is a range of 2-3% a year, but it could go higher. Any increase above 3% should be temporary as long as fiscal and monetary policy are set appropriately.

All Answers