Autumn statement: Whitehall must set itself up for efficiency challenge

, 3 December 2014

In the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor has announced that he intends to make £10bn in efficiency savings by 2017-18. This is a stretching target which the government will only be able to meet if it focuses on transformative change and equips itself with the right tools and structures for the job.

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Guest blog: The What Works Network – a Lunar Society for the 21st Century

, 3 December 2014

Two and a half centuries ago, the Lunar Society – it met during the full moon when Birmingham streets were safer – was at its most imaginative and experimental. Among its prominent members Matthew Boulton was revolutionising manufacturing, Erasmus Darwin was transforming education, Josiah Wedgewood was innovating in pottery and James Watt was exploiting...

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Guest blog: Special advisers – the unelected lynchpin

, 2 December 2014

The popular image of the special adviser resembles a political villain out of central casting. In a game of Associate, the term would be linked with: scheming, unelected, unaccountable, media, bullying, backroom boys. They are meant to be the shadowy hand operating behind the curtains of power, alternately manipulating their dull-witted political masters and...

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Let’s get fiscal: the implications of the Smith Commission Agreement

, 28 November 2014

Yesterday’s publication of the Smith Commission Agreement marked an important step in the next phase of devolution to Scotland. The five parties that took part in the Commission have achieved a remarkable feat in agreeing a wide-ranging package of new powers to be devolved.


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Smith is a major constitutional milestone – but on a road to where?

, 28 November 2014

The Smith Commission report on further devolution to Scotland sets out a package of further powers that the unionist and nationalist parties have agreed should be transferred to the Scottish Parliament. Inevitably this goes too far for some and not far enough for others. The detail of the package – which includes further tax,...

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Labour’s vision for a digital state

, 28 November 2014

With the general election in sight, parties need a big idea about the state to capture the imagination of voters. At a recent speech at the Institute to discuss how to make government more effective after 2015, Labour policy co-ordinator Jon Cruddas argued that such visions were what helped Labour back into power after...

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