Opinion and Editorial from the Policy Exchange team.
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Guy Miscampbell, Policy Exchange’s Economics & Social Policy Research Fellow, looks to see what lessons the UK can learn from US-style campaigning technology. Guy argues that, whilst the funding gap between US and UK election campaigning is massive, UK parties could implement important elements, such as increasing mining for electorally useful data.
Prior to George Osborne’s speech to the CBI tonight, Nick Faith, Policy Exchange’s Director of Communications, calls on politicians to show the people that an open free-market economy – closely monitored by government – will work for the many and not just the few.
Court closures may not be a vote winner, but they could hold the key to improving our justice system and meeting budget targets
Charlotte McLeod, Policy Exchange’s Crime & Justice Research Fellow, argues that a strategic review of the court estate is needed in order to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Charlotte proposes that the government should close courts that are outdated and unfit for purpose and introduce mobile or temporary courts and ‘Justice Hubs’ in order to dispense justice – as recommended in our report, Future Courts.
Rishi Sunak, Policy Exchange’s Head of BME Research, sets out the importance of understanding that Britain’s BME community is not one single monolithic group. He cites A Portrait of Modern Britain, Policy Exchange’s new report, of which he is the co-author, which provides an in depth examination of the characteristics of the UK’s five largest ethnic minority groups.
Rishi Sunak, Policy Exchange’s Head of BME Research, calls on Britain’s political parties to take a step back and appreciate the significant differences between the UK’s ethnic minority communities. These differences are important for politicians to bear in mind – policies in certain areas will disproportionately affect specific communities.
Chris Walker, Policy Exchange’s Head of Housing, Planning and Urban Policy, argues that Labour’s decision to impose rent controls won’t solve our housing crisis, because it doesn’t deal with the root of the problem: a lack of supply in the housing market. Chris stresses that we need to build double the amount of houses to match increasing demand.
Jonathan Dupont, Policy Exchange’s Economic & Social Policy Research Fellow, examines a new OBR dataset collating the costings for every significant tax change since 1970 and spending changes from 2010. Jonathan draws five conclusions from the data, including: bribing the electorate is going out of fashion, raising taxes after an election isn’t inevitable and that only George Osborne’s first budget and the 2011 Autumn Statement have had any real impact on the deficit.
Emily Redding, Financial Policy Research Fellow at Policy Exchange, outlines the main arguments in her report, Board Rules: Improving Corporate Governance. Emily argues that the focus on making boards more gender representative has skewed the debate away from how we can get more people with a diversity of appropriate skills and experience onto boards.
Steve Hughes, Policy Exchange’s Deputy Head of Economic & Social Policy, responds to a recent report showing that the middle class has weathered the fall-out from the financial crisis relatively well. Steve argues that the report’s findings and recommendations show how difficult it is to properly define parts of the income distribution for specific interventions. Instead we would be better off cutting National Employers insurance in order to stimulate hiring and wage recovery.
Annaliese Briggs, Policy Exchange’s Education Research Fellow, responds to the Department for Education’s recent publication detailing reforms to primary school assessment and accountability. Annaliese argues that we are likely going to see a wholesale change to the structure of measuring pupil progress over the next couple of years, because current National Curriculum levels are vague, subjective and unreliable.