30 September 2019

The first version of UKMOD, a transparent, free-to-access tax and benefit microsimulation model, is released by the Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Essex today.

Tax and benefit models are used to assess the impact of policy changes on household incomes and government finances. UKMOD will be an invaluable tool for those wanting to analyse who wins or loses from commitments made in the Autumn Budget, and how the pain of austerity or the proceeds of any new giveaways are being shared between richer and poorer households.

With funding from the Nuffield Foundation, researchers and software developers at the University of Essex have developed UKMOD, a comprehensive, transparent and free-to-access tax and benefit microsimulation model.

Other models for the UK already exist, including ones owned by HM Treasury, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Institute for Fiscal Studies, but they are rarely available outside the organisation that developed them. The availability of UKMOD will lead to better scrutiny of government proposals, and will allow many more organisations and individuals to take part in evidence-based debates about personal taxes, the design of the welfare system and inequality in the UK.

Given the increasing trend to devolve tax and welfare policy, a key feature of UKMOD is the ability to perform analysis separately for each nation of the UK. This means analysts can examine the impact of those policies that are specific to (say) Scotland - like the additional rates of income tax or the Scottish Child Payment - or so that analysts can examine the impact of UK-wide policies, but only on households in (say) Wales or Northern Ireland.

UKMOD is an extended, enhanced and timelier version of the UK component of EUROMOD. In recent years, University of Essex researchers have been using it to assess whether the burden of austerity fell on the poor or the rich, to understand the implications of Universal Credit, to examine how the National Living Wage interacts with the tax and benefit system, and to consider how a Basic Income Scheme for the UK might work.

Outside of universities, UKMOD has been used by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre since 2016, and is now used regularly by them in answering questions from MSPs and in their own briefing notes. The University of Essex is currently working with civil servants from the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly and Government, the Northern Irish Assembly, as well as researchers and analysts from other parliamentary bodies, like the House of Commons Library, and public sector bodies, such as the Scottish Fiscal Commission, all of whom will be using UKMOD in their policy work. Other users of UKMOD include the Child Poverty Action Group and the Woman’s Budget Unit, and the next training course for UKMOD is being explicitly aimed at NGOs and others involved in policy debates.


Mike Brewer, Professor of Economics at the University of Essex, said: “In the coming years, policy reforms are likely to be on many people’s agendas, in response to the fallout from Brexit, the push to devolve more powers away from Westminster, and pressures on inequality and living standards. We want different audiences to be able to assess the fiscal and distributional implications of what the government does, and to be able to put forward their own evidence-based proposals. This project will give them that opportunity.”

Mark Franks, Director, Welfare at the Nuffield Foundation, said: “By making it free to use and more accessible, the release of UKMOD democratises tax and benefit modelling for the UK. The Nuffield Foundation is proud to support the development of UKMOD, which will enable people to explore options for tax and benefits changes and make the potential implications of policy proposals more transparent.”

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Newsroom Activity

Jo Moriani added a new event 2 hours

How learning providers can support victims and survivors...

Overview The aim of this course is to raise awareness of the impact abusive relationships can have, the challenges in speaking out and the impact...

  • Wednesday, 26 August 2020 10:30 AM
  • Online

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page