Research papers

Hollow Highstreets: Empty council-owned commercial properties

Introduction This research looks at the number of commercial properties owned by local authorities that were vacant for either all or some of a 2 year period from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017. The research includes information on what councils spent insuring, maintaining, refurbishing and providing security for... Read more...

The tax burden on households 2019

Introduction: The tax burden in the UK is now at a 50-year high: taxes reached 34.6 per cent as a proportion of GDP in 2018-19, the highest level since 1969-70.[1] Whilst efforts have been made to lower the amount of direct taxes that are paid by the poorest, such as... Read more...

Crossrail 2: can value for money be improved?

Crossrail 2 is a £36 billion project to link south west and north east London rail services via new tunnels between Wimbledon and Dalston through central London. A new TPA report has found that £11 billion could be saved with cost reduction measures The report also suggests that there are separate, smaller projects... Read more...

The Great British Transport Competition

The case for scrapping High Speed 2 (HS2) gets stronger by the day. Increasingly, people from across the political spectrum are waking up to the fundamental issues which have plagued this project. Whether it be the spiralling costs, environmental damage, consistent mismanagement or overwhelming unpopularity of the project, the tide... Read more...

Cashing in: pension freedom for public sector workers

Introduction Since 2010, the deficit has reduced from £181.5 billion to £23.3 billion in constant prices. Part of the way in which this has been achieved is through reducing the public sector headcount and restraining pay. In the same period, the number of public sector workers has fallen from 6.4... Read more...

Embracing technology in health and social care

This paper is the second in the TPA series investigating automation in the public sector. In our first paper we set out the benefits for taxpayers, public sector workers, and the economy of increasing the rate of automation in the public sector. These benefits include public services being delivered in... Read more...

Town Hall Rich List 2019

In 2017-18:  There were at least 2,441 council employees who received total remuneration in excess of £100,000. That's 135 more than in 2016-17. 607 council employees earned over £150,000. A total of 28 local authority employees received remuneration in excess of a quarter of a million pounds in 2017-18. The local authority with... Read more...

Socialism Factbook

  You can download a PDF copy of "The Little Red Book" here   Socialism has never worked, wherever it has been tried. The consequences have been broadly as harmful as the implementation has been faithful, with the very worst from Marxist and Stalinist communist regimes. It has led to... Read more...

First aid: fixing international development

As the UK faces the challenges of the modern world, effective international development is seen as an important tool for pursuing the country's national interest. But the political debate has persistently revolved around whether Britain should retain the 0.7 per cent aid target it committed to law in 2015. While... Read more...

Council award ceremonies

This year many local councils in England will be allowed to raise council tax by more than 5 per cent1,2. As many local authorities across Britain further limit service provision, often taxpayers are paying more for less. Meanwhile, most local authorities are continuing to spend significant amounts of money on... Read more...

Mandarins' pension pots

The senior civil servants who lead Whitehall government departments have some of the best remuneration packages in the public sector, with a £20 million pension pot between them. Whilst their pension pots have been accumulated over many years of service, the overall benefits are significantly more generous than most in... Read more...

Planning for intergenerational unfairness

Across a wide range of metrics, life in Britain has improved markedly in recent decades. Young people benefit from a wide range of products and services that have become much more affordable or, in some cases, simply did not exist in the recent past. Medicine has improved with dramatic effects.... Read more...