Recent Comment

Crime in our capital city will stay high unless confidence in the Met is restored

Crime in our capital city will stay high unless confidence in the Met is restored

London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan warned this week that the cost-of-living crisis may lead to an increase in violent crime in the capital. Policing – like every other twenty-first century public service – is replete with numbers that measure performance. The number of police officers working on the frontline; how long it takes for the police to get to the scene of a stabbing; the number of murders solved.

The Chancellor has helped with the cost of living, but the problem won’t go away

The Chancellor has helped with the cost of living, but the problem won’t go away

Judging by the response yesterday, much of Westminster was surprised at the scale and design of the Chancellor’s cost-of-living support intervention. In political terms, the initial signs are that the Chancellor got it right.

£15 billion was announced yesterday, on top of the £22 billion announced in January, meaning the total cost-of-living intervention amounts to £37 billion, an extraordinary intervention amounting to about 1.6% of GDP.

We’re seeing a shift under Gove in housing policy from quantity to quality

We’re seeing a shift under Gove in housing policy from quantity to quality

There are very few national crises where there is a political incentive for them to be both solved and sustained – but housing, unfortunately is one. The reasons for wishing to solve the housing crisis are obvious: lack of housing supply and chronic unaffordability in London and the south east, oversupply and depressed construction activity in the North, a generation of young people locked out of the housing market, spiralling rents and mortgages claiming a disproportionate portion of household incomes and contracting consumer spending and all the damaging social and electoral consequences therein.

Ministers have an opportunity to cut taxes, drive supply side reform – and help reduce the cost of living

Ministers have an opportunity to cut taxes, drive supply side reform – and help reduce the cost of living

“My Government’s priority is to grow and strengthen the economy and help ease the cost of living for families.” These opening two lines of the Queen’s Speech provided a powerful message.

Further action is needed to address the cost of living crisis. Also, those affected are not just families, but the vast bulk of households that are being squeezed. If the Government doesn’t appreciate this, then it may have its work cut out.

The Queen’s Speech and Public Protest: The Government is not clamping down on the right to protest but rather on the deliberate disruption of the public square by small groups of privileged activists

The Queen’s Speech and Public Protest: The Government is not clamping down on the right to protest but rather on the deliberate disruption of the public square by small groups of privileged activists

The UK has a small but determined environmentalist movement characterised by its appetite for popular protest – and the diversity of its tactics. In the last twelve months these have ranged from the Tyre Extinguishers group letting down the tyres of private motor vehicles, Insulate Britain attempting to close the M25, Extinction Rebellion blockading Oxford Circus with a giant pink table, to Just Stop Oil protestors tying themselves to the goalposts during Premier League football matches.

The Queen’s Speech and Levelling Up: Anyone for Governor of Wessex?

The Queen’s Speech and Levelling Up: Anyone for Governor of Wessex?

The Bill covers a huge range of policy space, similar to the Levelling Up White Paper tabled in February. In fact, many of the proposals are those put forward in the White Paper. For example, there will be a requirement for the Government to release annual reports on the Levelling Up “missions”, creating a framework to devolve power through ‘devolution deals’ in every part of the country by 2030, and greater local input in planning. The Government will also use the bill to reform how local infrastructure is funded by a new “infrastructure levy” which will give local communities more input in how the money is spent, compared to the existing Section 106 process.

The Queen’s Speech and Deregulation: Who will regulate the regulators? Time for more parliamentary scrutiny

The Queen’s Speech and Deregulation: Who will regulate the regulators? Time for more parliamentary scrutiny

The Government confirmed it will introduce a Brexit Freedoms Bill, first announced by the Prime Minister in January 2022. Plans for the Bill were set out in The benefits of Brexit white paper, which outlined the Government’s broad ambition to make the UK the “best regulated economy in the world”. The Bill will remove the supremacy of EU law and make it easier for Ministers to amend, repeal, or replace retained EU law.

The Queen’s Speech and Health & Social Care Reform: What was not announced may be more significant than what was announced

The Queen’s Speech and Health & Social Care Reform: What was not announced may be more significant than what was announced

The passage of the centrepiece Health and Care Act during the previous session of this Parliament meant that this year’s Queen Speech had a smaller offering for health and social care. A number of priority commitments set out in March as part of the Annual Mandate (which sets out the Government’s priorities for the NHS) were repeated. The priorities are well understood: bring down the elective waiting list; deliver additional diagnostic capacity, including 100 community diagnostic centres; and make progress on the hospital building programme.

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RT @DrGerardLyons Further pick up of my @Policy_Exchange housing paper in the Daily Mail. thisismoney.co.uk/mo…