Making tax policy better: the case for strengthening the Office of Tax Simplification

, 1 September 2015

The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has always been the poor relation of the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR). The OBR has a profile – it is a pledge of reassurance to both voters and markets of the government’s commitment to fiscal discipline. When it was created, it was rapidly put on a statutory...

Permalink | No Comments »

The ever-expanding House of Lords

, 27 August 2015

Appointments to the unelected second chamber are one of a Prime Minister’s most significant powers of patronage. The list of new peers includes 26 Conservatives, 11 Liberal Democrats and 8 Labour members. Since 2010, 50% of party peers appointed by Cameron have been members of the Conservative party. Handing out peerages has enabled Cameron...

Permalink | No Comments »

The numbers behind the efficiency savings

, 25 August 2015

The government’s latest figures for efficiency savings were published on 17th August. The headline figure looked encouraging: £18.6bn saved in 2014/15, up 25% on a like-for-like basis from 2013/14. This might sound very positive, but is rather misleading. Both this year’s and last year’s numbers are measured against a 2009/10 baseline, so the savings...

Permalink | No Comments »

Demographic audit: diversity of appointments to public bodies

, 19 August 2015

A few weeks ago, the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA) published its annual statistics. OCPA ‘regulates the processes by which Ministers (including Welsh Ministers) make appointments to the boards of national and regional public bodies’, so the annual statistics show us how many appointments and reappointments were made over the year,...

Permalink | No Comments »

100 days of solitude

, 14 August 2015

Before he departed for Cornwall on holiday, David Cameron spoke enthusiastically about the achievements of his government in its first 80 days. Highlighting George Osborne’s budget as the greatest achievement so far, he noted to his government’s renewed energy. “We haven’t wasted a day”, he said. He pointed to the focus he and his...

Permalink | No Comments »

Where next for digital transformation?

, 12 August 2015

A week after Mike Bracken announced that he was leaving his post as the head of GDS to join the board of the Co-Op group as Chief Digital Officer, GDS’ current Chief Operating Officer, Stephen Foreshew-Cain announced on the GDS blog: “I’ve been running GDS for a year, now I’m stepping up to lead...

Permalink | No Comments »