The government's vision of 'Broadband Britain' will never be achieved without fundamental reform in telecoms regulation. The report Broadband Britain: Finding a Way Forward says that broadband could become a major driver of wealth creation within ten years, improving education and business performance. Britain lags behind, 21st out of the richest 30th countries in terms of broadband penetration. The institutes points to the need for a more aggressive regulatory regime that will deliver a level playing field for profitability in telecommunications. Opportunities created by this will give BT and its shareholders the option to review the break up of the service into two parts. One for services (Servco) and another for network infrastructure (Netco).
The US Department of Justice's lawsuit against Standard and Poor's is misguided, says our legal writer Lawsmith. It was the market's confidence in the ratings agencies that was at fault, not the agencies themselves.Read more...
Why Help to Buy will stoke a housing bubble by boosting demand without doing anything for supply, and risk taxpayer money in the process.
The welfare debate has roused emotions on both the left and right, and has led to some outlandish claims. Myth needs to be separated from reality. Geoffrey Taunton-Collins gives his take on what we should and shouldn’t believe.Read more...
The American bank robber, Willie Sutton, was asked why he persisted in robbing banks.
"That's where the money is," was his rather puzzled reply.
And why do our museums spend so much time dogging the heels of
politicians? Because in their world, government is where the money is.
After all, if you can't charge people to come in, then visitors become
no more than a necessary nuisance, wearing out the carpets and
fingering the exhibits.
UK Capital taxes are the world's most complex, putting us at a disadvantage against EC partners. On UK and US figures, the author shows that the revenue-maximizing level for CGT is only 15% and argues for a cut to below 10%.
Nigel Hawkins identifies £40bn of assets that the state could sell off to cut taxes or pay down the debt, including government-owned real estate, parts of state-owned companies like National Rail, and utilities that the government should not be running in the first place.
What would Britain be like if Dr Eamonn Butler was Chancellor? In this piece, we are given a taste of what would be in store if this did happen. Rather than a full time job, he has limited himself to one day as Chancellor and explains how he would go about changing Britain for the better.
This detailed report from the institutes trafficflow project team explores the equipment and policy requirements to make congestion charging work in major cities. How much does congestion cost? Why must a charging scheme be electronic rather than paper based? How can the technology be made affordable? How much importance should be given to simplicity, flexibility, public opinion, privacy and bolt on services that make life better for road users?
In this briefing paper, Karthik Reddy argues that the British constitutional arrangement has changed such that traditional checks and balances against governmental abuses of power have been lost, and says that a codified constitution is needed which clearly articulates the limits to parliamentary sovereignty. Reddy argues that the Prime Minister's presidential powers must be recognised and responded to by separating the executive from the legislature and making the office of Prime Minister directly electable by the British people, with parliament acting as an independent legislative balance against the executive.