by Nicholas Timmins, Financial Times, April 16 2009 For the better part of a decade, Labour ministers have been promising a “transformation” in public services – one that would ensure Britain’s health and education systems could bear comparison with the world’s best. READ IT
A new study commissioned by the British government shows that far from “fair access” improving within the high-status professions, people from lower social strata our now even less likely to make it into these jobs. This is despite the massive expansion in higher educational opportunities in recent decades.
A new Audit Commission report published today assesses progress in improving data quality – especially performance data – in the NHS. It reports on-going problems with embedding a culture of good data quality into NHS organisations.
This week 43 English local government bodies were merged into just nine much larger local governments. Whilst most commentators have concentrated on the implications for local democracy, which are important, they have missed the bigger picture.
A new book has been causing a bit of a stir in policy circles in the UK – ‘The Spirit Level’ is not another diatribe for or against God, as the name might suggest, but a book about equality.
Geoff Mulgan’s new book on ‘The Art of Public Strategy’ is an riveting read, fizzing with insights and ideas. Mulgan played a big role in the Blair government, as a policy adviser and Head of the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. He also has a strong history as a think-tanker and author, so his writing is […]
in Public Finance today…
In the ‘2004 Spending Review: final report on the efficiency programme’ (published Nov last year) the government claimed that the Chancellor’s departments – including the mammoth HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) had allegedly ‘saved’ £680m (against a target of £550m) and cut 16,000 jobs (mostly from HMRC). This might sound quite impressive, until you look […]
To London yesterday (25 Mar 09) to brief the sub-committee of the Treasury Select Committee which is carrying out an enquiry into efficiency of HM Treasury and its departments, including the mammoth HM Revenue and Customs. It was great session with most of the members giving up an hour of their valuable time and a […]
The most recent poll by Ipsos-MORI shows a slight narrowing of the gap between the Tories and Labour, but still gives the Tories a 10-point lead (see here). More worrying for the Tory opposition, and a bit more pleasing for Prime Minister Gordon Brown, should be the figures on people’s attitudes to the economy.