Energy inefficiency

, 14 April 2016

Promoting energy efficiency has proved hard for governments. Everyone agrees it is a good thing – both for energy bills and to reduce CO2 emissions. But relatively few people care enough to fork out the cash upfront to take the measures needed. On paper the Green Deal is a rational policymaker’s dream: assess what...

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Impermanent markers? Permanent secretary objectives, 2015–16

, 14 April 2016

We were critical of permanent secretary objectives when they were first published in 2012–13, and then again in 2013–14. There were too many objectives and not enough measures. They were published too late into the year they applied to. There was too much inconsistency for them to be useful in performance management. And there...

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Getting legislatures to engage in the evidence behind policy

, 8 April 2016

Anyone who has been watching BBC2’s riveting Inside Obama’s White House will have noted the US Administration’s increasing despair at navigating an increasingly polarised and hostile Congress. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that Congress just passed the Murray-Ryan Bill, co-sponsored by Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat, and Representative Paul Ryan...

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Police and crime commissioner elections 2016

, 8 April 2016

The introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) in England and Wales following the 2011 Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act has not been a roaring success. Elections on a cold November day in 2012 when no other elections were happening saw only 15% of voters casting their ballots, suggesting that the Government’s plans...

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Putting low pay out of commission: does the National Living Wage herald the end of the Low Pay Commission?

, 4 April 2016

When we brought together those who had worked on implementing the minimum wage, Chris Pond, of the Low Pay Unit pressure group (one of the few early protagonists of a minimum wage in the UK), told us that ‘back in the 80s, the minimum wage wasn’t controversial at all. Nobody thought it was a...

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The secrets of NICE success

, 4 April 2016

To write in praise of a public body always carries a risk. That what you are doing is a curse. The Audit Commission’s independently written but self-commissioned history of its existence up to 2008 was followed in 2010 by the decision to abolish it. So it is to be hoped that a short history...

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