Julian joined the Institute in July 2009 from the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit where he was Deputy Director. He started his career at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, where he spent eight years and published work on the UK's personal taxation and welfare system.
He leads the Institute for Government’s work on financial leadership for government, fiscal policy and consolidations and is a spokesperson on all areas of our work. He is our expert on:
Whitehall reform and performance
Financial Leadership for government
Spending Review and Budget
Fiscal Consolidations and international experience of them
He also led the Institute's research programme on corporate taxation and business investment issues.
Previously in government Julian lead work on social mobility, welfare policies and economics. While at the Strategy Unit, among other things Julian led the process spanning 11 government departments that culminated in the 2009 New Opportunities White Paper, and ran Tony Blair's Fundamental Savings Review. His other experience in government includes two spells in the Treasury, and as a special adviser at the Department for Work and Pensions.
Prior to this he taught public economics at University College London and worked at Frontier Economics, one of the UK's leading economic consultancies, where he helped expand the public policy practice.
Julian is a regular commentator on all issues relating to the effectiveness of government, most recently for the Today Programme, Sky News and BBC News on the Spending Round 2013 and Radio 4 programme ‘Analysis’ on tax policy.
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...
The Budget was the time to tell whether the Chancellor was serious about delivering the Conservative manifesto to the letter. The answer is no, but before anyone gets too excited he is certainly delivering the spirit of it.
Yet another Budget is almost upon us. It will tell us a lot about how the Chancellor and his colleagues intend to tackle the challenge they set themselves in the Conservative manifesto.
Ah, the joys of a press release from the Treasury. Some of the finest minds in Whitehall setting out to make the reader think one thing, when the actual words say another! We had a classic of the genre yesterday. The centrepiece was a table purporting to show “savings” numbers, which summed together all...
The new think tank GovernUp has published six papers on reforming government. Julian McCrae reflects on some of the ideas.
The Civil Service Reform Plan committed significantly to reduce turnover among senior responsible owners. The guardian of major projects is proving to be modelling the problem it seeks to change.
A response to Martin Donnelly's justification of the traditional policy role of the civil service.
Sir Jeremy Heywood made clear to Parliament last week that the Prime Minister has decided that he wants a "chief executive of the civil service". So what might the Prime Minister mean by this?
The objectives for permanent secretaries for 2014-15 form the basis for their performance management. The objectives will be used by the Cabinet Secretary or the Head of the Civil Service – the permanent secretaries are managed between them – for annual appraisal discussions and pay awards. The Institute was highly critical when the last...
Many of us have witnessed very large numbers being claimed for efficiency savings, but always had an uneasy feeling that they might be, shall we say, illusional. The classic example is around Gershon’s efficiency savings, where the NAO could only substantiate around a quarter of the savings. Over the past few years, Francis Maude...