How severe will the cuts due to be outlined in the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) actually be? This short, opinion-free briefing that aims to answer this question, by examining the spending totals outlined in June's Emergency Budget.
This report calls on the government to undertake a radical new programme of privatization. There are still many attractive commercial operations in the public sector that should be privatized – for instance, Channel 4, BBC Worldwide, Scottish Water, Network Rail and many other firms. The report also calls for the government’s shares in RBS and Lloyd’s TSB to be sold off gradually over the term of the current government. Together, these privatizations would raise up to £90billion over a period of several years.
The report argues that many benefits would accrue if its proposals were implemented in full – particularly in terms of operational efficiencies. The major privatization wave under the Thatcher government opened up much of Britain’s industry to competition and helped the British economic miracle of the 1980s. In times like this, a return to this approach is required to rejuvenate parts of the British economy.
Britain’s national debt is approaching one trillion pounds and interest repayments are nearly £120 million every day. With this report, the government now has an instruction manual in how to begin paying down this debt and simultaneously jumpstarting the flagging British economy.
A report by financial analyst Nigel Hawkins detailing the £90bn worth of government assets that can be privatized between 2010–2015. The report argues that repeating the highly successful privatization campaigns of the 1980s and 1990s would raise much-needed funds to pay down part of the national debt, and would open up new sectors of the economy to competition.
This briefing paper, by ASI fellows Tim Ambler and Keith Boyfield, notes the extraordinary growth of the UK's regulatory agencies since 1997 and the deleterious consequences for the UK economy. They argue that the UK's regulators should first be restricted to their original, purely economic role, and subsequently merged into a single, competition-focused Office of Fair Trading.
Austrian School economists gave us the ideas of marginal utility, opportunity cost, and the importance of time and ignorance in shaping human choices and the markets, prices and production systems that stem from them. 'Austrian' economics has revolutionised our understanding of what money is, why economic booms invariably turn to damaging busts, why government intervention in the economy is a mistake, the importance of time and information in economic decision-making, the crucial role of entrepreneurship, and how much economic policy is just plain wrong. Eamonn Butler explains these ideas in straightforward, non-technical language, making this Primer the ideal introduction for anyone who wants to understand the key insights of the Austrian School and their relevance and importance to our economic situation today. Now updated with an additional chapter on Contemporary Austrian thinking.
'Taxpayer Value: Rolling back the state' urges the government to reduce the number of people employed by Whitehall departments and their QUANGOs by almost 27 percent. This would equate to almost 270,000 public sector job losses and deliver estimated savings of £55bn a year. However, the emphasis of this report is not on cutting for cutting's sake. Rather, the goal is to make the concept of 'taxpayer value' central to government activity and, in so doing, deliver better services at a lower cost. Among other recommendations, the report suggests that job centres be privatized and the tax and benefit systems integrated, that the military take over procurement from the MoD and purchase equipment 'off the shelf', and the Departments for International Development and Communities and Local Government be abolished.