Devolution dividend: how local powers help tackle poverty

Devolution across the UK has already helped tackle poverty and greater localisation of some key policy areas would help make further improvements

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Parties’ public finance policies are opaque

The most challenging election of modern times lies ahead, but the main parties are not spelling out what their policies mean to voters Read more

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Let’s take action on low pay

Low pay is rapidly rising up the public policy agenda, with all the main parties seeking to ‘own’ the living standards debate ahead of the general election. The chancellor says he is committed to an above-inflation increase in the minimum wage – and ministers have been naming and shaming firms that fail to pay the current rate. Read more

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Navigating Northern Ireland’s financial settlement

The recent Stormont House Agreement appears to promise Northern Ireland another £2bn in additional funding. But a careful look at the detail tells a rather different story Read more

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Accounting for school assets

It’s all very confusing with the patchwork of faith, community and foundation schools. Where do they each fit in local authority balance sheets? Help is at hand from CIPFA Read more

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Scots may hold the keys to No 10

Opinion polls suggest the SNP could hold the balance of power at Westminster after the general election. Who might deliver the nationalists from EVEL?

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What can health management organisations do for the NHS?

NHS leaders can now explore radical health management organisation options, which run successfully in the US and Spain. But would such approaches really help the NHS deliver £22bn of additional value by the end of the decade? Read more

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An open letter to Melanie Dawes

The Department for Communities and Local Government’s new permanent secretary should ensure that mature debate should replace rhetoric and spin that can emanate from Whitehall Read more

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Acting local to tackle long-term unemployment

Local government schemes to help people back into work can prove more effective than those run by Whitehall. There are lessons to be learned to improve all back-to-work schemes.

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Circle: why there needs to be an inquiry into outsourcing failures

Circle’s decision to pull out of the running of Hinchingbrooke Hospital only underlines the need for an inquiry into public service outsourcing. There should be no more contracting out until lessons are learnt Read more

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