Archive for Akash Paun

Akash has worked at the Institute for Government since 2008, having previously worked as a Researcher at the Constitution Unit, UCL. He has a broad interest in constitutional change and the comparative study of political systems. He has led research across areas including: civil service accountability; the challenges of coalition government; devolution and the future of the UK; and the role and functions of select committees. Akash has published widely on these and related subjects. Recent publications include a report on permanent secretary appointments, a paper on reform of ministerial private offices, a research note on Cabinet reshuffles, and an international study of mid-term and late-term challenges for coalitions. Akash is also a regular media commentator on national and international TV and radio (including the Daily Politics, BBC Parliament, Al-Jazeera, Radio 5 Live and American National Public Radio).

Akash Paun’s Posts

Old faces, new politics? How the three devolved governments were formed

, 20 May 2016

In Scotland and Wales, unlike at Westminster, First Ministers are appointed (by the Queen) only after receiving the explicit backing of the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Senedd respectively. This process came to a conclusion this week as the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon and Welsh Labour’s Carwyn Jones were reconfirmed in office. Events in Edinburgh and...

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Seven challenges for making devolution work

, 3 May 2016

1. Adapting to the new politics of fiscal devolution A central feature of devolution to date is that the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments have little control over the size of their budget. Important tax and borrowing powers are now being devolved to all three nations, although the Barnett Formula also survives for...

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Making minority government work in Ireland: international lessons

, 22 April 2016

Governments without a parliamentary majority can sustain themselves in different ways, as discussed in past reports by the Institute for Government. One option is a pure or unsupported minority government, where the government has no formal relationship with any other party and must build a majority on an issue-by-issue basis. Despite the apparent fragility...

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The paradox of Scottish devolution

, 29 February 2016

The Scottish Parliament and Government control most major public services and around 60% of public spending north of the border. The health service, schools and universities, local government, criminal justice, housing and more has been devolved to Holyrood since 1999. Unlike in many federal systems, the block grant Scotland receives from the Treasury has...

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A new normal for Northern Ireland?

, 4 February 2016

Huge progress has been made, but visiting Belfast and the grand old buildings of Stormont Estate, as I did last week, one is struck by the unique combination of “normal” politics and issues distinct to Northern Ireland’s troubled past that continues to shape how government works. Having again teetered on the edge of collapse...

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Devolution will make you happy

, 15 January 2016

A good constitution sets a framework within which government can operate effectively. The UK (England in particular) has been over-centralised, leading to poor performance in some areas of government. Devolution of power within England can therefore create a more balanced constitution that will provide better government and policy outcomes. In a nutshell, this was...

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Barnett and beyond: time for a new system for funding devolution?

, 1 December 2015

While departmental budgets across Whitehall are the product of negotiations with the Treasury the devolved governments, in theory at least, have their budgets calculated automatically by reference to changes in English spending via the Barnett Formula. A little-read annex to the Spending Review called the Statement of Funding Policy (SFP) provides the detail. This...

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The next steps on the path of Scottish devolution

, 9 November 2015

The most notable changes the Government has proposed are in the domain of welfare. The earlier version of the bill was due to devolve a number of benefits, mainly relating to the sick and disabled, but the new amendments will empower the Scottish Government to top up the major working age benefits being merged...

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Westminster over the water? Canada’s general election and lessons for the UK

, 30 September 2015

Like Westminster, Canada’s House of Commons has retained the first-past-the-post electoral system. But as in the UK, the old certainties of two-party dominance have given way to a more fluid multi-party dynamic. As polling day (19 October) approaches, three parties have a plausible chance of taking power: the ruling Conservatives of Prime Minister Stephen...

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Where does EVEL lead?

, 3 July 2015

The proposed system will see the Speaker certifying bills or parts of bills that “relate exclusively” to England (or England and Wales) and where the equivalent legislative competence has been devolved to Edinburgh and Belfast. These bills, clauses or schedules will then have to receive the explicit consent of English (or English and Welsh)...

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