Forward thinking required

The CBI believes public services cannot revert to the ways of the past. But what shape should they take? It’s time for a national conversation Read more

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Different song, same tune

The next election will be fought on economic competence and the NHS. So no change there then Read more

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Public spending: dealing with the debt

Even as the deficit falls, rising national debt is a cause for concern. Politicians and civil servants must think about how policy commitments impact on the state’s long-term liabilities. Read more

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Do party conference tax announcements stack up?

There were a range of headline grabbing tax promises at the recent political conferences. But with all three main parties committed to continued deficit reduction there needs to be much more detail on tax and spending plans. Read more

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Innovation: the clue’s in the name

Innovation and transformation can never fully plug the gap left by public expenditure cuts. But, properly used,  they can certainly help Read more

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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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