Blog

Croydon Council's failures are not because of a lack of money

There are ‘widespread and serious failings’ in children’s services at Croydon Council according to a September 2017 report by OFSTED. The education watchdog inspected the authority's children's services this summer and found them to be ‘inadequate’. Inspectors said some children are left at risk of "significant harm" because of the... Read more...

Get nanny out of the nursery

The TUC today published a report revealing that childcare costs in England have increased up to seven times faster than wages since 2008. According to the report, childcare costs for parents with a one-year-old have increased dramatically by 48 per cent over a period when their wages have fallen in... Read more...

The government in Cardiff Bay needs to stop being so careless

News came out of Wales yesterday that the Cardiff government has been subsidising business to the tune of £244 million since 2011. Only 2 per cent has so far been returned, less than £7 million. This figure is doubly painful because the government had the stated aim of moving “to... Read more...

Magna Carta - A Very English Tax Revolt

GUEST BLOG FROM THE ADAM SMITH INSTITUTE The English have a proud tradition of standing up to greedy, tax-consuming rulers. We have consistently reasserted our belief in individual rights and government under the rule of law. No event in English history highlights this national trait more than King John affixing... Read more...

Who will defend the defenders?

A new story this morning tells us that, once again, squaddies’ livelihoods are threatened with the top brasses’ plan to cut the number of Royal Marines by 1000. What the story doesn’t say is that generations of incompetence in the Ministry of Defence have bought us to this dire state... Read more...

What’s wrong with the all-ages graduate tax?

Tuition fees are quickly going the way of Brexit – a hyper-sensitive issue which sends usually reasonable people on the brink. So powerful is their news-generating potential that Sunday papers will jump on any opportunity to “splash” on the latest chitter-chatter, no matter how trivial or doubtful. Cue the Sunday... Read more...

Should taxpayers fund Zumba, facials and spas for the NHS?

Duncan Selbie, the chief executive of Public Health England, has stated that NHS hospitals should build spas and offer Zumba classes and facials in order to encourage people to live healthy lifestyles. According to Public Health England, the NHS should create ‘health campuses’ where beauty treatments, aerobics, and swimming classes... Read more...

Why is UK Aid going to some of the world's largest economies?

UK taxpayers have forked out yet more money for aid spending, even though there is little evidence it has any positive impact on the lot of the world’s poorest.    The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ACAI), the body charged with overseeing the UK’s Overseas Development Assistance, has found there... Read more...

Charges and fees and more charges and more fees

Whether it’s the charge from the library for that book that you’ve had out too long, or getting a copy of your birth certificate, local authorities in England are finding increasingly imaginative ways to charge residents for services they’re already paying for. First, the good news: excluding education services (which... Read more...

Is PFI profit really a waste of taxpayers’ money?

PFI has long been a dirty word, synonymous with the worst excesses of private enterprise – ineffective, overpriced and more than a little too close to the state. Instead of embodying a happy middle between market provision and universal service, it has been portrayed as the worst of both worlds.... Read more...

Action Day: Mid-Cheshire against HS2

Yesterday, some colleagues and I got the train from London to Crewe (only 90 minutes) to meet with an anti-HS2 group. Two local volunteers picked us up from the station and drove us to a small village in Cheshire called Lostock Green. What looked like half the village had come... Read more...

Healthy towns poorly thought-through

Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, has suggested that a ‘Healthy New Towns’ programme could seek to alter individuals’ behaviour with bungs and favours for good behaviour. The trial programme will involve 76,000 homes in ten new towns across the country and future developers could also be asked... Read more...