Britain's electricity supply has been left dangerously vulnerable by the government's plans to phase out nuclear power and rely more on gas and renewable energy. Wind and solar power are costly and intermittent sources of energy that cannot fill the gap left by nuclear, while planned gas imports rely on a complex cross-national network that is easily disrupted by political upheavals in any one of a number of countries.
Why we need road pricing
The Adam Smith Institute has long supported road pricing as the best way of paying for the scarce resource that is road space - a particularly scarce resource in many towns and cities at around 8.30 in the morning and 5.30 at night.
In this think piece – originally written for Whitehall & Westminster World – ASI policy director Tom Clougherty explains what he would do if he were prime minister for a day. In a nutshell: reduce spending and scale back government, reform public services, and cut taxes. Would it really be that hard?
The Government's asset sales will provide a year of bounty but doesn't address the British state's excessive spending.
Privatization - Reviving the Momentum calls for a new wave of privatizations, which could net the exchequer in excess of £20bn. Given the worsening state of the economy and the increasing tightness of the public finances, the report notes that such an inflow of funds would be very welcome. In addition to the revenues generated for the government, a new wave of privatizations would also deliver significant operational benefits. Previous privatizations have delivered a wide range of improvements, including increased investment, lower prices, greater choice and better service for customers – as well as underpinning billions of pounds worth of economic activity. The leading privatization candidates identified by the report include the Royal Mail, Channel 4, BBC Worldwide, Scottish Water, Northern Ireland Water, Glas Cymru, the National Air Traffic Control System, as well as government stakes in British Energy and the Nuclear industry.
Privatization can spread wealth and reduce budget deficits in post-communist and developing countries, say contributors to the Sixth London Conference on Privatization, including Guy de Selliers,Eduardo Modiano, Ibrahim Elwan & Ustun Sanver.
A report by financial analyst Nigel Hawkins detailing the £90bn worth of government assets that can be privatized between 2010–2015. The report argues that repeating the highly successful privatization campaigns of the 1980s and 1990s would raise much-needed funds to pay down part of the national debt, and would open up new sectors of the economy to competition.
Up to now, access to justice has been the privilege of the wealthy and the minority who are sufficiently poor to qualify for civil legal aid. Most other people had no access to civil justice, a factor which has brought the civil justice system into disrepute. The government is presently undertaking a major and long-overdue reform of the civil legal aid system in accordance with the Access to Justice Act 1999. Reforms enacted on 1 April 2000 abolish legal aid for most civil claims. Instead, it is expected that cases will be funded by the conditional fee system - popularly known as "no win, no fee". In this system the lawyer agrees with his client to charge an additional success fee if the claim is successful, but may charge nothing if the claim fails. It is an example of payment by result. These reforms effectively represent the privatisation of access to justice. The civil courts are increasingly accessible to anyone with a meritorious claim.
Professor Logan outlines the moral case for privatising prisons.
In this groundbreaking report, James Croft argues that the crisis of school places can only be met by giving true freedom to Free Schools and allowing profit-making schools to operate within the Free Schools programme. In his study of profit-making school outcomes, he shows that schools charging fees on a par with the average state expenditure per pupil equal or exceed the performance of average independent schools. As the report shows, unlocking the power of profit within the Free Schools programme would be a revolution in schooling in England.