The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned that households will lose more from “opaque and stealthy” freezes over the next three years than they will gain from tax cuts.

The IFS said freezes will take away £2 for every £1 given to households through the personal tax cuts by 2025-26.

The mini-budget’s high-profile cuts include the reductions in national insurance contributions (NICs) and the 1p cut to the basic rate of income tax.

But they come during a four-year freeze to income tax thresholds, and many other tax and benefit thresholds and values are also frozen indefinitely, the IFS said.

As a result of the four-year freeze to the personal allowance, by 2025–26 the number of income tax payers will rise to 35.4 million (66% of adults) – 1.4 million more than the current number (34.0 million, 63% of adults), according to the projections.

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And, following the U-turn on plans to scrap the 45p rate of income tax for higher earners, because the £150,000 threshold at which the rate starts to bite has been frozen since 2010, by 2025–26 there are projected to be around three times as many additional-rate income tax payers as there were when the rate was introduced (760,000 versus 240,000), the IFS said.

The IFS also said there are various aspects of the benefits system where freezes are biting.

For example, around half a million more families are projected to lose some or all of their child benefit entitlement by 2025–26 compared with now because the £50,000 threshold at which child benefit starts to be tapered away has been frozen since its introduction in 2013.

Tom Wernham, a research economist at IFS and an author of the report, said: “Of all the changes to taxes and benefits over the next three years, freezes to various tax and benefit thresholds and allowances are the most significant and least transparent.

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“Freezes far more than outweigh headline policies such as the 1p cut to the basic rate of income tax, or the reversal of the health and social care levy, and they are set to drag millions more into the tax system and into higher rates of tax.

“Giving with one hand and taking with the other in this way is opaque and stealthy – and when inflation is volatile the impact can vary hugely from what the Government initially intended.”

Tom Waters, a senior research economist at the IFS and another author of the report, said: “Practically every part of the tax and benefit system contains allowances, amounts or thresholds that are frozen, often indefinitely.

“Some are farcical – the Christmas bonus, paid to pensioners and disability benefit recipients, has been frozen at £10 since 1977, in which time prices have more than quintupled.”

A Treasury spokesperson said: “This Government is committed to a high growth and low tax economy and helping people to keep more of their hard-earned money is a key priority, as seen by our commitments to cancel the rise in national insurance and reduce the basic rate of income tax.

“The income tax system is highly progressive. This year, the top 50% of income taxpayers are expected to pay around 92% of total income tax while the bottom 25% are expected to pay just 2%.”