Research papers

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...

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...