Archive for Julian McCrae

Julian joined the Institute in July 2009 from the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit where he was Deputy Director. He started his career at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, where he spent eight years and published work on the UK's personal taxation and welfare system. He leads the Institute for Government’s work on financial leadership for government, fiscal policy and consolidations and is a spokesperson on all areas of our work. He is our expert on: Whitehall reform and performance Financial Leadership for government Spending Review and Budget Fiscal Consolidations and international experience of them He also led the Institute's research programme on corporate taxation and business investment issues. Previously in government Julian lead work on social mobility, welfare policies and economics. While at the Strategy Unit, among other things Julian led the process spanning 11 government departments that culminated in the 2009 New Opportunities White Paper, and ran Tony Blair's Fundamental Savings Review. His other experience in government includes two spells in the Treasury, and as a special adviser at the Department for Work and Pensions. Prior to this he taught public economics at University College London and worked at Frontier Economics, one of the UK's leading economic consultancies, where he helped expand the public policy practice. Julian is a regular commentator on all issues relating to the effectiveness of government, most recently for the Today Programme, Sky News and BBC News on the Spending Round 2013 and Radio 4 programme ‘Analysis’ on tax policy.

Julian McCrae’s Posts

The strange case of the missing plans

, 2 February 2016

The most important part of the Spending Review is not the spreadsheet of numbers, the rabbits from the hat, or the headlines. It is the planning that sets out how to translate the spending numbers into reality. There have been signs that the Government is taking the planning side more seriously than in previous...

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The finance function forges ahead

, 28 January 2016

The Financial Management Review (FMR) aimed to move the Government’s finance profession’s focus from financial reporting (all those annual accounts that most of us struggle to interpret) to management accounting (providing information and analysis to help the managers make better decisions). There was a degree of sceptical optimism around it – optimism because the...

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Public spending: how is the Government doing?

, 21 January 2016

The last public finance figures, published just before Christmas, show that overall government spending for the first eight months of 2015/16 is running 2% ahead of spending in the previous year. This compares to government plans for spending to rise by 1% for the year as a whole. Since these figures were published, we’ve...

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The Spending Review: what really happened

, 29 December 2015

1. On the big picture, the Chancellor pulled back from the scale of cuts outlined in the July budget The headlines immediately following the speech announced the end of austerity. This is not all that surprising, given the immediate press reaction is heavily dependent on the Treasury’s presentation, and the Chancellor was unrelentingly upbeat...

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Securing the long-term credibility of the OBR: four key changes are needed

, 30 November 2015

If the verdict on the recent Spending Review was that George Osborne is a lucky chancellor then Robert Chote, the head of the OBR, is seriously unlucky. A surprise modelling revision and embarrassing mistakes in the previous forecasts have left the OBR facing criticism around its credibility. There are four reforms that the OBR could...

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Five things to watch for in tomorrow’s Spending Review

, 24 November 2015

The initial media reactions to spending reviews and budgets are seldom that informative. Just look at the immediate coverage of the Chancellor’s last budgetary outing: that supposed triumph unwound as many people, including his own backbench, realised what it implied for those on tax credits. So here are five ways to figure out what...

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Fiscal rules and knock-about politics don’t mix

, 14 October 2015

Which way will they vote? Will that change again? And would it matter at all whatever they did? Exciting questions no doubt, in relation to the Labour Party and the Chancellor’s new Charter for Fiscal Responsibility. But what is actually happening today has been rather lost in the coverage. The BBC website yesterday was...

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Can harsh medicine taste nice?

, 5 October 2015

This morning a series of Government spokespeople were on our airwaves, claiming that everyone would be better off as a result of the changes to tax credits and the living wage. And not just better off in the long term (after we take our medicine) but better off immediately, with nobody losing out. I’m...

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The numbers behind the efficiency savings

, 25 August 2015

The government’s latest figures for efficiency savings were published on 17th August. The headline figure looked encouraging: £18.6bn saved in 2014/15, up 25% on a like-for-like basis from 2013/14. This might sound very positive, but is rather misleading. Both this year’s and last year’s numbers are measured against a 2009/10 baseline, so the savings...

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Budget 2015: delivering the spirit of the Conservative manifesto

, 8 July 2015

The Budget was the time to tell whether the Chancellor was serious about delivering the Conservative manifesto to the letter. The answer is no, but before anyone gets too excited he is certainly delivering the spirit of it.

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