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Smoking, plain packaging, and public health

Type: ReportsWritten by Julian Morris | Monday 24 March 2014

This report reviews the evidence around plain packaging for cigarettes from Australia, the only country to have tried the policy so far. It finds that plain packaging has not had a noticeable impact on smoking rates, but has led to a significant rise in counterfeits, which are more easily available for underage smokers. 

‘We built it together, Mr President, through the division of labour.’

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Stephen MacLean | Wednesday 01 August 2012

You didn't build it? What would Adam Smith say, asks Stephen MacLean.


Zero Base Policy

Type: BooksWritten by Dr Madsen Pirie | Wednesday 10 June 2009

Britain is broken. Its finances are in ruins, its taxation is chaotic and punitive, its public services fail to reach adequate standards, and its public administration shows no coherence and commands no respect. In Zero Base Policy Madsen Pirie urges a new approach. Instead of tinkering at the edges by trying to improve existing policies, he urges a re-think to first principles, asking in each case what are the purposes and the objectives sought. The policies derived from such an approach make a clean break with the past, setting out how Britain can be put right. Ranging across all areas of public policy, Madsen Pirie presents the radical agenda which can transform the nation from broken Britain into a dynamic society and a successful economy, one which achieves the objectives its citizens yearn for. It should be bedtime reading for those who aspire to govern Britain in the future.

Yes, let’s tax home ownership

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Richard Teather | Monday 28 September 2009

Vince Cable’s proposed ‘mansion tax’ on high-value homes has come in for a lot of flack. But is it justified?

Working Welfare

Type: ReportsWritten by Katharine Hirst | Tuesday 20 November 2007

Inspired by the successful US welfare reforms of the 1990s, the proposals in Working Welfare would make work central to the benefits system. All working age people not meeting national disability criteria would face "immediate work requirements". This requirement would be backed with tough sanctions – "no work, no benefits" – and any absence from mandated work without good cause would trigger a pro rata reduction in benefit payments. The ASI proposals would also revolutionize the delivery of welfare. Responsibility for its provision and administration would be devolved to local agencies, which would be paid according to results. Agencies would be rewarded for getting people into work for a set period of time, ensuring an ongoing and personalised service for jobseekers. The report also advocates raising the personal income tax allowance to £12,000, to tackle high effective marginal tax rates for those trying to enter the workforce, and to make life easier for those with low incomes.

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Wood for the Trees

Type: ReportsWritten by Douglas Mason | Monday 23 November 1992

The privatization of the Forestry Commission and the reasons why are looked into by Douglas Mason. He looks closely at the history of the Forestry Commission and the reasons as to why they have failed in all areas to make state owned forestry viable. He highlights one area, visitors to the forests, as the only one if run properly by the State that could be profitable, though the need for change exists. Douglas Mason also looks at how the privatization could be pushed through and how best to protect the forests under the private sector.

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With recent police activity, anti-terror adverts and CCTV everywhere no wonder we're all scared stiff

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Dr Eamonn Butler | Sunday 19 April 2009

Do we live in a country where our every move is being watched? Dr Eamonn Butler believes that the huge number of CCTV cameras on our streets have caused a new wave of anxiety amongst the public, as the police can easily target the innocent for insignificant crimes rather than taking care of the real threats to society.

Wired to Learn

Type: ReportsWritten by Tom McMullan | Friday 22 November 2002

The government wants to create the 'school of the future' with ICT-based learning in new-look buildings and at home. But existing government policy stands in the way of this vision. Teacher and ICT expert Tom McMullan identifies the blockages: too much focus on numbers rather than sustainability, low teacher confidence, dismal connectivity, and the lack of realisation that content, and not hardware, is what it's all about.

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Why Unemployment?

Type: ReportsWritten by Ralph Howell | Tuesday 01 January 1985

What now appears to be a seminal publication on the road to welfare reform. Ralph Howell examines the welfare system of the mid 1980s, what the Beveridge Report didn't utilise and how the two could be combined to create an incentivized work force and a simplified benefits system. This publication foreshadows many of the summer 2008 announcements.

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Why the Global Economy Needs Nations

Type: ReportsWritten by Rt Hon. Francis Maude MP | Friday 26 November 1999

Globalization and the Internet will discriminate against high tax and high spending governments, so believers in state power are now turning to international government to impose international controls. The choice is between the American model that creates a million new jobs a year, and the high tax, high unemployment model of the continent. Britain should set low, simple, transparent taxes and low regulation, which are the conditions that reward success and encourage investment and risk-taking. Britain should embrace globalization and all that it offers, instead of retreating into protectionism.

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