To know the costs of manifesto promises, the OBR should be the first place we look

, 23 April 2015

The Institute has previously argued the benefits of allowing the opposition parties to have their policies independently costed in advance of an election. At present, the rules of the game are tipped in favour of the government. The governing party (or parties) has access to civil servants and policy costings during their term. They...

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26 Bills Later: Legislation During the ‘Zombie Parliament’

, 23 April 2015

We now have a full list of primary legislation passed into law in the 2014-15 parliamentary session under the Coalition – and during the whole 2010-15 parliament. Did it become, as some suggested, a ‘zombie parliament’? Gavin Freeguard looks at the law data. We have excluded private bills, private members’ bills, secondary legislation like...

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Key questions for the parties after the election

, 22 April 2015

The main challenge for all politicians and parties during the election is how to win without tying their hands and making governing much harder over the next five years. Of course, winning votes always takes priority. But there will be life in office after May 7th, for someone.

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The (Not So) Fixed-term Parliaments Act

, 14 April 2015

As the SNP pointed out last week, the Fixed-term Parliaments Act could have major implications for British politics. And as Dr Catherine Haddon explains, those implications remain little understood – particularly given ambiguities in the Act which could raise big constitutional questions at just the wrong moment.

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Educating Jeremy: how will the new Civil Service master’s course make a difference?

, 13 April 2015

The Civil Service has always rather looked down on the idea that formal qualifications can help you do the job as policy maker better. True, increasing numbers reach the top entering as professional economists. And the current government, although putting the old National School for Government onto the quango bonfire has set up both...

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Counting down to the election: the latest civil service staff numbers

, 9 April 2015

The civil service now employs 405,400 FTE, down 1,290 on the previous quarter. The last quarterly staff numbers release before the election shows that the Civil Service has reduced in size by 15% since Q3 2010.  The Civil Service has continued to shrink in the last quarter.  But even this is still some way...

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