Accurate accounting is at the root of the legal and scrutiny framework; without accurate accounts basic laws are incapable of enforcement. This report argues that international accounting rules have given the impression of illusory profits on bank balance sheets, inflating bonuses and creating perverse incentives for banks to act recklessly.
The government is spending enormous sums of money on renewable energy. This report assesses the economic and energy security cases for renewable energy subsidies, and finds that there is no prospect that renewable energy will be able to provide a substantial amount of Britain's energy needs.
In this report, retired industrial line manager and entrepreneur Chris Davies reflects on his experience of four decades of NHS care, and details the numerous occasions on which Britain's health service has failed him. He argues that the NHS is a fifties-style nationalized service that does “time wasting and inconvenience on a monumental scale" and is fundamentally incapable of serving its customers effectively. Davies goes on to advocate reforms far more radical than anything yet contemplated by the British government: his blueprint would see the entire NHS estate sold to competing, private groups; it would establish a national insurance fund financed by the proceeds of those sales and by employer and employee contributions; and it would introduce a co-payments system whereby patients had to pay 20 percent of medical bills themselves, up to reasonable annual limit.
System-wide studies of the impact of profit on educational outcomes are now beginning to emerge, says James Croft. These imply that there is no argument against profit-making in education.
According to Anthony Seldon, head of Wellington College, Berkshire, fee-paying private schools have a “moral duty” to help run failing government schools in deprived areas. However, says James Stanfield, private schools are right to question the wisdom of this approach.
In this response to the Vickers report, financial experts Tim Ambler and Miles Saltiel argue that the report's findings fail to address the root causes of the financial crisis and would create another layer of bureaucracy. Instead, the government should allow the creation of new "Trust Banks" that would be safely run, reduce arguments for protection of riskier banks, and introduce new competition to the high street.
In a follow up his last report on the Tobin Tax, Adam Baldwin assesses the impact of the European Commission's Financial Transaction Tax on Britain. He draws on the EC's impact assessment and independent research and concludes that it would wipe out derivatives trading in the City, hurt economic growth and increase market volatility.
High Speed 2 will be enormously expensive if the government proceeds with it. But is it worth the money? In this report, Nigel Hawkins examines the arguments for HS2, particularly the "non-economic" benefits of the project, and argues that HS2 is a white elephant that the government should scrap.
The government is tilting at windmills with its plans to finance long-term care, says Terry Arthur. Normal market mechanisms could provide everything that people want, if the government would only allow the market to be free and remove the welfare state from people's lives.