Research papers

The Bumper Book of Burdens on Business

Introduction The United Kingdom consistently ranks towards the top of league tables in terms of ease of doing business. Many prime ministers and chancellors have recognised the importance of low taxes and light regulation in order to make the UK a competitive and attractive place to do business. In many... Read more...

Trade Union Rich List 2019

Introduction Membership of trade unions, for both public and private sector workers, has been declining for many years: 23.4 per cent were members in 2018. In the public sector, it is at the lowest level since records began in 1995, down by more than 5 per cent to 11.6 per... Read more...

Cost overruns of major government projects

Key findings In an analysis of 10 recent and in-progress UK major government projects, overruns have grown to a total of 32.7 years and £17.2 billion, or £624 per UK household1. The £17.2 billion accumulated overrun could have paid for seven of the 10 projects at their initial cost estimates,... Read more...

Freedom Factbook

You can download a PDF copy of the "Freedom Factbook" here Freedom works. Lower taxes and limited intervention in the economy don’t just create the space for innovation, growth and prosperity. They also tend to enhance civil liberties and radically improve lives, particularly for people on lower incomes. Free enterprise... Read more...

The Cost of Death

Introduction This research looks at the taxes and charges involved when someone passes away. In 2019-20, the government is projected to receive £5.35 billion from grieving taxpayers via inheritance tax, the highest amount ever. But this is only one of the many ways that the government extracts money from the... Read more...

NHS trusts' spending on settlement agreements

Introduction Settlement agreements are legally binding agreements between an employer and an employee that set out the terms surrounding the termination of employment. The purpose of settlement agreements is to resolve any disputes between the two parties that could not be resolved as part of internal procedures, and prevent future... Read more...

The efficacy of unitary authorities

Unitary authorities have been in place in many parts of the UK for almost 25 years. Whilst savings have been realised since their creation, concerns have also been raised. This includes worries about democratic accountability with these larger authorities, and areas of spending where savings have not materialised as expected.... Read more...

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...