Commons vote on Syria: four questions answered

, 1 December 2015

Can the Government go ahead with military action in Syria without parliamentary approval? Technically, yes. As we have clarified previously, “The power to commit troops in armed conflict is one of the remaining Royal Prerogatives – that is powers that are derived from the Crown rather than conferred on them by Parliament.” This means that the...

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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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Securing the long-term credibility of the OBR: four key changes are needed

, 30 November 2015

If the verdict on the recent Spending Review was that George Osborne is a lucky chancellor then Robert Chote, the head of the OBR, is seriously unlucky. A surprise modelling revision and embarrassing mistakes in the previous forecasts have left the OBR facing criticism around its credibility. There are four reforms that the OBR could...

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Short money: cutting the cost of politics?

, 27 November 2015

Short money is made available to all opposition parties that have secured either two seats or one seat and more than 150,000 votes at the previous General Election. Last Wednesday, the Chancellor proposed to reduce this opposition funding by 19 per cent, and then freeze it for the rest of the Parliament. It is...

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How Welsh public services benefit from cross-UK evidence exchange

, 27 November 2015

Over the last century, Wales has provided numerous examples of inspirational public service leadership. David Lloyd George created the first system of National Insurance for those who were sick or unemployed. Jim Griffiths used his experience as a miners’ leader in developing the modern state benefit system. And Aneurin Bevan used his experiences from...

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How does the Spending Review look for the public sector?

, 26 November 2015

When the Spending Review was launched in July, the Chancellor said that while some areas of spending would be protected, other areas would need to “find significant savings”. His fiscal calculations required cuts of between 25% and 40% – the same levels modelled in the 2010 Spending Review – leading many to assume that the...

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