Devolved elections 2016: politics and parliaments

, 29 April 2016

Coalition and minority rule – not majority government – are the general rule in Scotland and Wales. Since 1918, most governments in Westminster have been majority ones (although nearly 30 years have been spent under minority or coalition government). In Scotland and Wales however, the electoral system is designed to make majority governments rare....

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How can we make tax policy (and budgets) better?

, 29 April 2016

In the past few years, the Institute for Government and others have repeatedly drawn attention to problems in tax policy-making and budgets. Just over a month since the March 2016 Budget, memories of the messy aftermath have dimmed as the EU referendum debate and concerns on tax transparency have moved centre stage. But at...

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Freedom of Information appeals and reviews in 2015

, 26 April 2016

Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), if someone requesting information is dissatisfied with the response they get, they can ask the department concerned for an ‘internal review’ – which may or may not be acted on. If the requester is still dissatisfied after an internal review is carried out, they...

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Making the most of citizen complaints to improve services

, 26 April 2016

Momentum behind joining up and integrating public services around citizens is increasing. As more powers are handed to local areas through ‘devolution deals’, there is now greater opportunity to trial new, collaborative ways of working and shape services around local, citizen needs and experiences. Although evidence around whether joining up actually does improve outcomes...

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How can professional bodies support more joint working on the frontline?

, 25 April 2016

Public service reform is geared towards greater collaboration between services and better meeting citizens’ needs through a joined up, person-centred approach. The pressure on services to do this is growing, with the Government announcing plans for integration in areas such as health and social care by 2020. But while the importance of frontline practitioners...

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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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