Clarity about the Civil Service: learning from New Zealand

, 1 March 2013

The New Zealand minister for the Civil Service, Dr Jonathan Coleman, was in the UK this week and spoke at New Zealand House about their government reform programme. This focuses on ten measurable results which address complex issues cutting across department boundaries, such as reducing the rate of assaults on children and cutting long-term...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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