This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Thursday 11 April 2024, 6.30pm to 7.30pm
  • Location: In-person only
    Room PZA/103, Piazza Building, Campus East, University of York (Map)
  • Audience: Open to alumni, staff, students, the public
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required (Sold out)

Event details

Ken Dixon Lecture

Join Paul Johnson, Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, as he examines what it costs to run the United Kingdom's economy. To follow the money. To provide an explanation, of where that money comes from and where it goes to, how that has changed and how it needs to change. We are heading off, in fact, on a journey to not just follow the money, but to track it and pin it down, to find out how much of our money government takes and spends to keep the country we recognise as the UK running.

Government decisions determine the welfare of the poor and the elderly, the state of the health service, the effectiveness of our children's education, and our preparedness for the future: whether that is a pandemic or global warming. As a society, we are a reflection of what the government spends.

Nearly four pounds out every ten we earn goes, one way or another, to the taxman? What are the combined effects of these decisions to take hundreds of billions from us every year and then dish it out again?

Johnson looks at what happened following the financial crisis of 2008-09 and the austerity years that followed. And then at how in 2020 the government reacted to the coronavirus with by far the biggest spending splurge in peacetime history. And he peers into our economic futures as we try to reach a new 'normal' after Covid-19.

About the speaker

Paul Johnson has been director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies since 2011. He is a columnist for The Times, and is a regular contributor to other broadcast and print media. He is a visiting professor in the UCL Policy Lab and at the UCL department of economics.He was for 10 years a member of the UK Climate Change Committee, and has served on the council of the ESRC and of the Royal Economic Society. Paul led reviews of pension auto-enrolment and of inflation measurement for the UK government, and of fiscal devolution for the Northern Ireland executive.

Previous roles have included time as chief economist at the Department for Education and as director of public spending at HM Treasury, where he also served as deputy head of the government economic service.Paul published the Sunday Times bestseller Follow the Money in 2023. In 2023 he was awarded an Honorary Degree from the University of York. He was appointed CBE in the 2018 birthday honours.