Commitments on NHS spending: the unanswered questions

At their conferences, all three main political parties pledged to increase NHS spending in the next Parliament. But these promises won’t address the looming financial crisis in the acute sector. Read more

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Academies: let the buyer be aware

The conflicts of interest recently highlighted by MPs could be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to academy procurement Read more

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Apprenticeships: no longer a second class option?

There was a consensus on backing for apprenticeships at the recent party conferences. How can this be translated into a serious offer for young people after the next election? Read more

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Northern Ireland: into the red?

The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed a loan from the Treasury to prevent them going into the red. But lack of agreement on welfare reform and financial penalties means the Executive is likely to face tough financial choices ahead Read more

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Lib Dems: the keep-it-real party?

This week’s Liberal Democrat conference displayed considerable fiscal realism, in contrast to the other two main parties.  But as its dismal poll ratings show, this is a far from popular political message  Read more

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Home truths on buy-to-let

David Cameron has announced that private landlords will not be able to snap up 100,000 new homes with buy-to-let mortgages. A good thing too Read more

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Thinking differently about GP access

Implementing Prime Minister David Cameron’s pledge for seven-day-a-week GP access demands a fresh approach. Easy wins in the NHS are over. Read more

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The Conservatives must not be complacent

Healthy economic growth and falling unemployment are not the trump cards the Tories might imagine. To neutralise the threat posed by UKIP, they need to reach out to the disaffected. Read more

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Devo max – what it is and why it won’t happen

Whatever extra powers Scotland gets, they will not add up to devo max. We should also stop trying to appropriate the term for local government in England Read more

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We’re avoiding the tough choices

Failure to plan for the long-term harms national interests. But a looming election encourages politicians to defer hard decisions on tax, pensions and health Read more

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