Dr Merrill Matthews of the National Center for Policy Analysis explores the lessons of the best and worst US state welfare reform programmes.
Simon Read's report anticipated much of what Ron Sandler came up with in his official government review of long term savings. Read proposes that products rather than the advice process, should be regulated - as they are in every other market. He argues for a simplified and standard tax structure covering all sorts of savings and investments, and simpler products that will allow charging structures to be simplified and charges reduced.
This report assesses the powers and duties of Passenger Transit Authorities, to see how far they are needed; how much they cost to maintain; and whether such of their functions as may be justified could be better provided by the existing, directly elected local authorities. It finds that the
case for their abolition is strong.
This paper describes the main features of the Passbook Pension, its costs and benefits, its relationship to today's personal and occupational pensions, the appropriate tax and regulatory regime, and the speed and costs of introducing the reforms.
Archeology has suffered from an increase of state intervention and subsidies since 1973. Moves away from the traditional treasure trove solution to wipe out looting will only serve to promote it. The answer is to 'amateurize' archeology and resist all temptations to nationalise Britain's heritage. The report advocates 'Independence Impact Statements' before government funds are channeled into projects from archeological digs to operatic productions. It offers solid proposals for a more cost-effective and consumer friendly Arts, Heritage and Culture policy.
Private finance can save London Underground from crisis. The report proposes that three to five, probably four investment-led contracts, or "concessions", should be offered to private sector consortia to design, modernize, finance and operate services, stations and infrastructure. Such a structure would provide operational flexibility in deploying rolling stock and manpower It would also provide more bankable revenue streams.
The achievement of the bus industry in the last decade has been 'truly remarkable', emerging from a long period of managed decline to become market-led, quality minded, and capable of ending three decades of loss of custom to the car. This report assesses how innovation is winning people back to buses.
Rhis Adam Smith Institute briefing paper addresses the challenges and requirements laid down by Harriet Harman's statement from July 1997 relating to stakeholder pensions. While retaining the guarantees of state provision, it offers people a voluntary, funded, simple alternatine to SERPS and the basic pension. Assuring everyone of security and dignity, not dependancy, in retirement.
There is growing agreement that our state pension system must be underpinned by proper funding. The only worry about such a reform is the belief that "one generation must pay twice" - once to pay what is due to today's elderly and once more to build up funds for its own retirement. New research shows this fear to be unfounded. The economic gain from a funded system is so large that we could make the transition within a generation and still leave everyone better off.
The future of the welfare state is now firmly at the centre of public debate. Its seeming inability to conquer poverty,despite an annual budget of £100 billion, provokes many to question whether a system designed in the 1940's is up to the challenges of today. The Adam Smith Institute argues that we need a completely different approach - replacing our collectivized state pensions and national insurance scheme with a system of personal lifetime fortune accounts, competitively provided.