Archive for February, 2013

Delivering open data

, 28 February 2013

The privatisation of the Royal Mail is progressing steadily. In 2011, the Postal Services Act paved the way for the spin-out. In spring 2012, government took on the Royal Mail’s pension assets and liabilities – previously seen as an obstacle to a commercial sale. And in December, it was suggested that employees might own...

Posted in New models of governance and public services | Comments Off

The weakest link – what the horse meat scandal tells us about better regulation

, 27 February 2013

When the foot and mouth scandal broke, a friend of mine in government said that the basic problem was that cattle travelled all over the country before they were slaughtered. We are now discovering that “meat” has a eurorail pass before it gets to the shops or into the school dinner. That means that...

Posted in Better policy making | 1 Comment »

Making tax policy

, 20 February 2013

“Taxes, like death, are unavoidable. But we can design our taxes. We are not bound to have a tax system as inefficient, complex, and unfair as our current one. To improve things, we need to see the system as a whole. We need to design the system with a clear understanding of the population...

Posted in Better policy making | Comments Off

10p or not 10p – that is NOT the question

, 18 February 2013

The Budget itself is a bizarre anachronism.  A major political event, for which the TV schedules are cleared.  Special supplements in the FT.  Still shrouded in secrecy and mystique despite the fact that the Chancellor claimed in his first days that all major announcements would have been trailed in the previous autumn – and...

Posted in Better policy making | Comments Off

Social care reforms will only address part of the funding problem

, 12 February 2013

Yesterday, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt put an end to months of speculation when he revealed the Government’s response to the 2011 Dilnot Commission report Fairer Care Funding. Hunt has proposed a £75,000 cap on the total costs of care that any individual will incur and an increase in the total assets an individual can...

Posted in New models of governance and public services | Comments Off

Mid-Staffs report should be the start of a debate not the automatic solution

, 6 February 2013

Because it is far from clear that Francis has come up with the right prescription to prevent as far as possible (and it will never be possible to prevent entirely) any repetition of the scandalous lack of care in Mid-Staffs. Rather the risk is that Francis will produce a whole lot more bureaucracy, an...

Posted in Better policy making | 4 Comments »

Improving the effectiveness of select committees

, 6 February 2013

The Liaison Committee brings together the chairs of other select committees to look at issues of common concern and to foster good practice – as well as playing the higher-profile role of taking evidence from the Prime Minister three times a year and this week, for the first time, the Deputy Prime Minister. Our...

Posted in Parliament and the political process | Comments Off

Opening up policy making in practice: has Defra’s Animal Health and Welfare Board for England made a difference?

, 5 February 2013

The Animal Health and Welfare Board for England is at the cutting edge of open policy making, bringing external input and rigour into the heart of the decision making process. I see the Board as an opportunity for industry to contribute in the policy making process at the earliest stage and bring a practical...

Posted in Better policy making | Comments Off