The Invisible Hand’s Shadow

The shadow economy as an issue for public policy and public administration is something I have been banging on about for several years (see A False Economy, Public Finance, 2004). I recently tried to raise the issue at both the Treasury and Public Administration select committees. So I was pleased to see a fascinating paper by Sean […]

Gizza Job? Jobcentres Plus stitched up by Minister.

“Gizza job”, those with long-enough memories will recall, was the catch phrase of the central character- Yosser Hughes – in Alan Bleasedale’s very dark BBC TV comedy ‘The Boys from the Blackstuff’ which aired in the middle of another big recession (1982).

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 […]

So What Would You Do?

In December I appeared as a witness before two Select Committees in the Westminster parliament: the Treasury Committee (TSC) which was responding to the government’s Pre-Budget Report; and the Public Administration Committee (PASC) which was investigating what standards of ‘good government’ might look like.