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Unbundling the Welfare State

Type: ReportsWritten by Professor George Yarrow | Friday 22 November 2002

Alistair Darling must confine the government to the relief of poverty and allow the private sector to take up the task of providing basic pensions an social security benefits. The welfare state has become riddled with compleities, inconsistancies and perverse incentives that it now positively discourages low-income families against savings and insuring themselves for future needs. Professor George Yarrow of Oxford University, who wrote the report, states that means testing is like a tax on personal saving and that the government must focus on improving the market. the true welfare elemnt needs to be rediscovered from the waste the nhs has become.

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Unbundling the Welfare State

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Anonymous | Saturday 01 January 2000

Reform of the welfare state has been a strong theme in public policy pronouncements over recent years. Much of the pressure for reform has come from a burgeoning social security budget and, partly as a result of measures taken and partly as a result of substantial reductions in unemployment in the later 1990s, expenditure growth has fallen back of late. Underlying pressures for increased spending remain, however, and budgets will likely grow more quickly again when the effects of falling unemployment wear off.

Two Thousand Days of Nothing Very Much - Labour’s performance in office

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Dr Madsen Pirie | Saturday 01 January 2000

In her first 2,000 days Margaret Thatcher changed the world. She privatized state industries, lowered taxes, deregulated the economy, and tamed the unions. The miners were conquered at home, the Falklands liberated abroad. By late 1984, after decades of decline, Britain was back and booming.

Trouble with the Authorities

Type: ReportsWritten by Prof. John Hibbs OBE | Tuesday 18 August 1998

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.

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Treasury forecasts: the tendencies and consequences of inaccuracy

Type: ReportsWritten by Liam Ward-Proud | Thursday 06 May 2010

In this study, Liam Ward-Proud analyses the accuracy of Treasury budget forecasts for GDP growth by comparing them with the ensuing growth. Examining three different types of forecast, some key trends are found in relation to the correlation, absolute errors and a bias towards overestimation in the sampled forecasts. The consequences for fiscal planning are then spelled out and a solution for mitigating the damage of inaccurate forecasting is put forward.

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Transforming Higher Education

Type: ReportsWritten by Terence Kealey | Tuesday 20 November 2007

Dr Terence Kealey highlights the reasons as to why American universitites are superior to ours, and other economically advantaged nations. He states that the aim of all universities must be to move away from state dependence to independence, with there being an urgent need for their endowments to be restored to assist in this move.

The best universities in the world are independent, but in the UK we've made the mistake of allowing governments to fund - and therefore control - the universities directly. The Higher Education Funding Councils should be abolished, and the universities should be freed of state control. The HEFCs' funds should be transfered to needs blind funding agencies to allow students, regardless of background, to access higher education on the grounds solely of merit.

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Track to the Future

Type: ReportsWritten by Kenneth Irvine | Wednesday 23 November 1988

This paper restates the case for privatization, evaluates the three proposals on the table and makes final proposals to form the basis of legislation. The book also updates material from the Right Lines whilst looking at the possible privatization of The London and Glasgow Underground systems, the Dockland Light Railway and the Tyne and Wear Metro system. Some wider aspects of a free market in transport are also addressed.

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Town and Country Chaos

Type: ReportsWritten by Robert Jones | Friday 12 November 1982

A critical analysis of Britain's planning system. Not much has changed positively in the years since 1982 making this report still relevant today. It also outlines solutions that would free up the planning system.

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Tories must face the taxing realities

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Dr Eamonn Butler | Wednesday 25 March 2009

Where do the Conservatives stand on the issue of tax? With the increased possibility of a Conservative Government in power by next June, Dr Eamonn Butler looks at how Cameron could deal with the mess we find ourselves in.

Too Much to Swallow

Type: ReportsWritten by Keith Boyfield | Sunday 26 November 1995

Excise Duty and Value Added Tax account for nearly 2/3 of the price of spirits, vodka, whiskey, and gin, sold in the UK. This excessive tax rate penalises domestic production, encourages consumption of nearly all imported goods, costs jobs in the domestic drinks industry, and encourages bootleg and smuggled alcohol consumption. The UK can solve this problem by cutting excise duties gradually over five years to reach equivalency with EU duties, harmonizing UK and EU duties and signaling the goal of tax neutrality between alcoholic drinks.

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