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Online Lessons

Fiscal Policy Introduction (Online Lesson)

  • Levels: AS, A Level, IB
  • Exam boards: AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

In this online lesson, students cover the foundations of fiscal policy, linking in with AD/AS analysis.

WHAT YOU'LL STUDY IN THIS ONLINE LESSON

  • An overview of the main types of macroeconomic policy
  • Key features of UK fiscal policy
  • The impact of fiscal policy using AD/AS analysis

Additional teacher guidance is provided at the end of this online lesson

HOW TO USE THIS ONLINE LESSON

Follow along in order of the activities shown below. Some are interactive game-based activities, designed to test your understanding and application of fiscal policy. Others are based on short videos, including activities for you to think about and try at home.

If you would like to download a simple PDF worksheet to accompany the video activities, you can download it here: Introduction To Fiscal Policy Worksheet. You can print it off and annotate it for your own notes, or make your own notes on a separate piece of paper to add to your school/college file.

ACTIVITY 1: VIDEO

In this video, we'll work through the meaning of the 3 main categories of macroeconomic policy: fiscal, monetary, and supply-side, as well as a quick reminder of the main government macroeconomic objectives.

Introductory Fiscal Policy Video 1

ACTIVITY 2: POLICY MATCH-UP GAME

Test your understanding of the material covered in Activity 1, by playing the Policy Match-Up game, shown below. Simply follow the on-screen instructions. Because you will see different policy options each time you play, you can play this more than once. Can you win each time?

ACTIVITY 3: VIDEO

Over the course of this video, we will explore the meaning of essential key terms relating to fiscal policy, as well as taking a closer look at the some of the differences between direct and indirect taxes in the UK.

Introductory Fiscal Policy Video 2

ACTIVITY 4: VIDEO

This video covers the main types of government spending: transfers (welfare payments), current spending and capital spending. There's also an opportunity to explore some examples of each type of spending.

Introductory Fiscal Policy Video 3

ACTIVITY 5: GOVERNMENT SPENDING MATCH-UP GAME

Open up the game shown immediately below, to learn more about the different categories of government spending in the UK, and their relative importance.

ACTIVITY 6: VIDEO

In this short video, we will delve more deeply into the facts and figures of UK fiscal policy, and patterns in UK fiscal policy in recent years.

Introductory Fiscal Policy Video 4

ACTIVITY 7: ENRICHMENT TASK

Carry out your own research to find out more about UK government fiscal policy over time, and produce a timeline to present your results. You can produce your timeline in any format that you like: hand-drawn on paper, online interactive, PowerPoint/Prezi presentation, podcast, video - the choice is yours. Choose how far back in time you'd like to go.

ACTIVITY 8: UK TAX REVENUE MATCH-UP GAME

This interactive game is similar to that in Activity 5, only this time you are focusing on tax revenues in the UK and their relative importance.

ACTIVITY 9: VIDEO

This is the video we've been building up to over the course of this online lesson. In this video, we pull together everything we've learned so far, linking it to AD/AS analysis and the achievement of macroeconomic objectives. This activity ends with an exam-style written task, that you could submit to your teacher for assessment once completed.

Introductory Fiscal Policy Video 5

ACTIVITY 10: BE THE CHANCELLOR - FISCAL BUDGET TIME

This summary activity gives you a chance to "Be The Chancellor" of your own, small economy. You need to make decisions on appropriate government spending and tax policies for your economy, and then write a speech outlining your budget choices. You should download the activity resource here: Fiscal Budget Time. You can submit your final speech to your teacher for assessment.

EXTENSION READING

Try reading this article from the Institute for Fiscal Studies on the UK government's fiscal response to the impact of COVID-19 / coronavirus. To what extent do you agree with their views?

ADDITIONAL TEACHER GUIDANCE

This online lesson includes:

  • Around 30 minutes of guided video, spread over 5 videos
  • Around 20 minutes of "thinking time" and student activity throughout the videos
  • 3 interactive games, building wider awareness of fiscal policy features - these games can be replayed as many times as students would like
  • An exam-style written task, building chains of analysis for different fiscal measures, at the very end of the final video in Activity 9; students could submit their work to teachers for assessment
  • A suggested enrichment research task on historical changes to UK fiscal policy, which could take around 30 - 45 minutes depending on student interest
  • A further enrichment task, in which students take the role of Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Suggested additional extension reading

We suggest allowing 90 minutes for the main activities, plus an additional 60 minutes for the 2 enrichment tasks and extension reading.

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