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Industrial Strategy Publications
A new Policy Exchange report, The Fog of Law, co-authored by Tom Tugendhat and Laura Croft, shows how the application of civilian norms to military conduct has led to a surge in legal claims against the Ministry of Defence (MOD). The costs of litigation have now risen out of proportion with forecasts, with the number of claims brought against the MOD totalling 5,827 in 2012-2013.
Smaller, Better, Faster, Stronger shows how government could save as much as £70 billion by 2020 if it adopted plans to eliminate paper and digitise its activities, work smarter with fewer staff in Whitehall, shop around for the best procurement deals, and accelerate the use of data and analytics.
Privatising the Banks examines four scenarios for the state to sell off RBS and Lloyds, arguing that the best approach will be a mass share distribution coupled with sales to retail and institutional investors. Under the mass share distribution, applying taxpayers will receive shares worth £1,100-£1,650 on a no upfront cost, no risk basis.
Bank lending to private companies in the UK has fallen in every single year since the financial crisis, dropping a staggering £57 billion since 2008. Capital Requirements: Gold plate or lead weight? says that the primary reason for this lack of credit is due to the financial regulator’s desire to raise the capital requirements of UK banks.
The Superfast and the Furious argues that politicians have become overly focused on broadband speeds. Instead the government should focus on helping the 10.8 million people not online and do more to help small businesses make the most of the opportunities presented by the internet.
Reform of the Bank of England argues that the Bank of England’s focus on monetary policy meant that it was not prepared for the impact of the freezing up of the financial markets and the collapse of some of the UK’s biggest banks. The report argues that without major reform to the Bank, the new financial regulatory regime currently going through Parliament risks being as flawed as its predecessor.
The UK has enormous potential to be a world-leader in the high-tech and digital economy, but it is tough for start-ups to find enough coders, designers and other highly skilled staff. Bits and Billions looks to the United States, especially California which is home to nearly half of the top 100 digital start-ups in the world, for lessons for UK policymakers.
All company directors should be forced to repay bonuses if they underperform. Executive Compensation advocates introducing “clawbacks” to all bonus contracts as the best way to end rewards for failure in the boardroom. Clawback would also be an effective way of ensuring shareholders are able to reduce the outgoing pay of a poor performing director who had decided to resign.
The Big Data Opportunity shows that better use of data, technology and analytics could help the government save money by improving efficiency rather than reducing service levels. Applying cutting-edge data and analytics in the UK public sector could generate potential savings of up to £16–£33 billion a year.