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Innovations like "CareBnB" are good for the NHS

The gravest domestic health crisis facing our country today is the thousands of people dying from bedblocking.  This is where medically sound patients who should be able to be discharged from hospitals aren’t, often due to a lack of social care. This could mean someone recovering from a broken leg... Read more...

Coming to the aid of aid

The Department for International Development this morning released a statement to parliament on proposed changes to how Britain spends some of its aid budget.   Though it still contained the usual drivel on climate change and re-stated the government’s commitment to the 0.7% target, much of it is, in principle,... Read more...

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...

Taxing holidays doesn't fly

For millions in Britain, the weather in August, such as it is, presents the opportunity to jet away and put the office behind them for a couple of weeks. But in recent years, the penalties for leaving the UK have grown ever more costly.  Our annual report on holiday taxes... Read more...

How to end the housing crisis

The housing crisis in London and other high-demand areas of the country is becoming an ever more important political issue as its invidious effects spread and deepen. Most economists agree on the cause: planning restrictiveness. They also agree how to fix it: weakening planning restrictions. Unfortunately, there is no such... Read more...

Could the end be in sight for stamp duty?

We first called for stamp duty to be abolished as far back as 2012. Five years down the line, it seems that Britain is ready to have a conversation about the future of stamp duty land tax – one of the most inefficient, pernicious and unfair taxes on the books.... Read more...

Stamp Duty Land Tax - What is it?

Stamp Duty Land Tax What is it? Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is a tax on the purchase of property payable by the buyers. It was introduced in 2003 but replaced stamp duty, which was first introduced in England in 1694. A single 1 per cent rate of stamp duty... Read more...

Action on Sugar leave a bad taste in the mouth

Action on Sugar today attacked cereal manufacturers over their ‘scandalous’ decision not to use colour-coded labels that reveal the amount of sugar in their products. The pressure group is calling for ‘traffic light’ nutrition information to be included on all food and drink products. Campaign director Katharine Jenner said: ‘shoppers... Read more...

It's not more money that the NHS needs...

The National Director of Clinical Quality and Efficiency of the NHS, Professor Tim Briggs, today stated that the NHS must put its house in order before seeking more money from the government. Professor Briggs told the Times (£): 'I do not think at the moment we deserve more money until... Read more...

Farming Tomorrow Today

Policy Exchange's new report, Farming Tomorrow, has many excellent suggestions for the reform of the UK's agricultural sector. The report, written by Warwick Lightfoot, has a plethora of sensible policies, including: Unilaterally phasing out tariffs A phasing out of production subsidies and income support New powers for the Food Safety... Read more...

Open letter to the Transport Select Committee

This project is deeply unpopular and has managed to garner opposition to it from across the political spectrum. As recently as January this year, the Treasury Select Committee raised concerns about HS2's lack of economic rationale. This was the latest in a long line of critical reports from public bodies.... Read more...

Vice chancellors' vices

The vice chancellor of the University of the West of Scotland, Craig Mahoney, has today bemoaned his salary of £227,000 as insufficient. The reason? He lacks a grace-and-favour home for entertaining. Vice chancellors, the chief executives of universities, are some of the best remunerated public officials in the country. The... Read more...

Euston Station Action Day

We were out campaigning today at Euston Station, the first stop on the HS2 line (if it's ever built!). We got an incredible response from the public, who were shocked by the cost, dismayed about the environmental impact and worried about the disruption it will cause their commute. If you... Read more...

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