Based on the ideas of Labour MP Frank Field, this report suggests steps toward localization of welfare services through the old Friendly Societies system, rather than the modern state-centered organization. In a bold move away from his party, Field recognized the problems of the state controlled system and the benefits that market forces and local control could incur on the system proposal. In the move back to the Friendly Societies, unemployment benefits would be dispensed locally with specialized services specific to communities, giving customers options of moving to Societies which benefit them most - increasing level of service for all through competition. This report finally concludes that such a change could improve not only the UK, but services across Europe as the trends of competetiveness spread.
The UK state pension should be remodeled on Chile's privatized system which replaced its state pension with compulsory personal savings accounts which have become actuarially sound and secure, and secure, and offer flexible retirement ages, higher rates of return and stimulates economic growth.
Dr Eamonn Butler argues that it is absurd for ministers to condemn Goodwin's deal given the pensions mess that they created.
A new economic responsibility act is needed to prevent future governments spending and borrowing too much, according to Dr Eamonn Butler. He outlines the rules that would be needed to protect the public finances and secure Britain's future economic growth.
The Coalition's welfare reforms are too timid, says economist Peter Hill. Welfare-to-work schemes have failed, and adding more state intervention will only compound the problems. What is needed is a reform package that time limits out of work benefits, turns benefits into a genuine unemployment insurance scheme, and more.Read more...
Edward Brooks says the English house-selling system is archaic, costly, slow, and nerve-racking for all concerned. His solution? Binding contracts, house logbooks, searches done by vendors before the house is put on the market - and a second-hand market in houses.
This paper calls for an English Parliament, but in a novel form. Unlike proposals which involve a new layer of representatives, a fresh set of elections, and a new building to house it, the ASI proposal uses existing institutions. Under the ASI plan, following the next general election the MPs representing English constituencies should meet in the Palace of Westminster as the Parliament of England, having equivalent powers over health, education, policing and transport as the Scottish Parliament presently has.
They would elect a First Minister, as the Scots do, who would then put together a cabinet which would govern England in the designated areas of responsibility. The UK Parliament would remain responsible UK-wide matters and would control the various departments in charge of them: security and immigration, foreign affairs, international development, defence, employment and social security, energy, constitutional affairs, and tax and the economy.
A YouGov poll found that those in favour of this proposal outnumbered those against by a margin of two to one.
Tom Papworth sets out how to solve the looming pensions crisis.
In this article Tom Clougherty explains why health spending needs to be cut and suggests the best ways of achieving these spending reductions.
Today, many industrialized nations have developed a multitude of social programmes, and these have become so entrenched that theorists, and politicians alike, claim the 'right' of citizens to their services. We are told we have a right to health care, education, unemployment insurance, and so on. Indeed, Jack Straw, the UK Justice Minister, recently proposed to codify these entitlements in a new British Bill of Rights. But do we, as citizens of developed nations, actually have these rights?