State-run prisons suffer from the familiar problems of other public-sector institutions that face no competition: inadequate supply, poor quality and high cost. All too often, prisons are schools for crime. Many of them suffer from serious problems associated with over-crowding, poor sanitation, violence, drugs and sexual assault. Prison warders have become a powerful vested interest, exerting undue influence over prison policy.
A series of factsheets that examine the need, and methods of implementation, for urban road user charging.
Despite a supportive government and half a century of above inflation inflation increases, the National Health Service is still under strain. In the past few weeks alone, doctors have critised it for long waiting times, diagnostic mistakes and it's poor record of treating heart disease, cancer and other serious diseases. Everyone accepts that we need to upgrade ond modernise Uk healthcare. But to do that most effectively we must develop a wider involvement in the process, with real partnerships between the NHS, the private sector and the patients themselves.
The NHS should enter into a range of partnerships and agreements and should commission services from private and voluntary providers.
Britain's system of town and country planning has evolved in a way which gives immense political power to lobbies. It is incapable of renewing Britain's infrastructure or regenerating decaying habitats, and it cannot cope with projects of national importance. Instead, a National Planning Court should take proposals of national significance out of the local planning regime; the Uniform Business Rate should be abolished; and developers could be allowed to offer a tariff of compensation to local residents.
University students spend more on drink and on entertainment than on tuition fees, and twice as much on clothes as on books, according to this MORI survey. But they do not tolerate intolerance in their friends, and think that their investment in education will help them far more than any UK or EU government initiative.
With Public bugets so tight and negative incentives a concern, government is keen to focus it's help on the most needy, and letting others carry more of their own burden. This may be the start of a third way fore welfare, in which individuals themselves are expected to take on more responsibility for insurable risks,presently covered by the state. There is a wide experience to draw on, both from within the uk, and abroad,of how private insurance can take up some of the strain and tailor a better service to today's more diverse population.
Governments have completely mishandled risk issues such as BSE, GM foods and mobile telephones. People's reactions to risk depends on their own view of it, not on anything they hear from the government. Trying to make people avoid risk - by wearing seatbelts, for example - can easily backfire as people seek new ways to get back to their normal risk levels.
Globalization and the Internet will discriminate against high tax and high spending governments, so believers in state power are now turning to international government to impose international controls. The choice is between the American model that creates a million new jobs a year, and the high tax, high unemployment model of the continent. Britain should set low, simple, transparent taxes and low regulation, which are the conditions that reward success and encourage investment and risk-taking. Britain should embrace globalization and all that it offers, instead of retreating into protectionism.
This analysis suggests that official economic statistics systematically understate increases in living standards. It makes the case that many statistics, including Gross Domestic Product (GDP), might have been appropriate to the age of mass production, but fail to reflect accurately the new economy which is being created by the application of information technology.