The Distributional Impact of Tax and Social Security Reforms in the UK from 2010 to 2017

Howard Reed*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents the results from a cumulative impact assessment of the distribution of tax and social security reforms in the UK since the 2010 general election. The analysis covers the 2010-15 and 2015-17 parliaments plus measures announced in the Autumn 2017 Budget. The article finds that taken as a whole, reforms since 2010 have had a regressive impact across the household income distribution, with average losses of around 10 per cent of net income in the bottom fifth of the distribution, compared to roughly a zero impact in the top three deciles. I also analyse results by a number of Equality Act protected characteristics including ethnicity, disability, gender, single/couple status and the number of children in the household. Lone parent families lose out more than any other demographic group while Pakistani and Bangladeshi adults lose out more than any other ethnic group. The reforms also have particular negative impacts on disabled people, on low income women and on households with children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-486
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Policy and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes

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