Making shared housing work

The Government wants people on housing benefit to share accommodation to bring down costs. But, Sue Heath warns, voluntary arrangements usually work better than compulsion. The Government’s welfare reform programme is penalising under-occupation of social rented accommodation that is paid for by housing benefit. One approach favoured by the Government is more sharing of accommodation […]

Modernising Government Mk II: ‘Working Together’

Back in 1999 ‘Modernising Government’ was finally published. After nearly two years gestation the general verdict was that it was indeed an elephant – huge, sprawling and ungainly. Everything including the kitchen-sink had been thrown into the lengthy, turgid and mind-numbingly boring document. Well, now we have Modernising Government II – or ‘Working Together: Public […]

Government bails out “Private” Finance Initiative

The old joke that consultants borrow your watch and then charge you if you want to be told the time has finally come true. The UK Treasury has announced it will step in to provide the finance for £8bn worth of PFI (private finance initiative) deals this year, as other sources of finance dry up […]

Hard Times for Public Services

Whoever is in power at Westminster, public services are facing hard times over the next few years.