Opinion/blog

Pension freedoms demand a default option

There’s little evidence to suggest that workers with defined contribution pension pots have the financial savvy to make wise choices with their money. A default automatic income plan would help head off the risk of a rise in pensioner poverty. Read more

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We need to ease back on council cuts

The cuts imposed on councils are too steep, happening too fast and unfairly distributed. There needs to be real-terms growth in the resources given to local government and distribution according to social need. Read more

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It’s time to reappraise PFI

The Private Finance Initiative has come in for some harsh criticism over the years, decried as inflexible and expensive. But with the right approach, PFI can deliver significant savings and improved outcomes. Read more

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Risks and rewards in welfare devolution

International evidence has shown that devolution of welfare to work schemes to local authorities can improve services – if funding and accountability challenges can be overcome.

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LGPS: the Emperor’s new pension scheme

Few will admit to the naked truth, but reforms to local government pensions have left in place a scheme that is wholly unaffordable and unsustainable. Read more

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Time for an outsourcing wake-up call

Serco’s losses should be a wake-up call for both outsourcers and politicians. We need a review of the impact of and conditions for successful public sector outsourcing. Read more

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SNP prospects: a nightmare scenario?

The SNP is wary of coalition with Labour, but what better way to cement the Union than to have nationalists participate in Westminster government?

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Budget 2015: key issues missing from the chancellor’s speech

George Osborne’s statement included no details on tax rises or how to improve public sector efficiency, but the next government will likely need both to meet fiscal targets.

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Budget 2015: plans for a Northern Powerhouse only edge forward

The Budget missed an opportunity to do something radical for the North of England. It only inches things forward when it could have taken a great stride. Read more

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Osborne shows devolution is work in progress

The Budget announcements on greater powers for local authorities demonstrate that the Chancellor and the Treasury are serious about fiscal devolution Read more

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