All Policy Exchange publications are free to download in .pdf format. You can also purchase hard copies of the majority of our reports – check each individual report page for details.
In the first part of a major study into local government financial reform, Policy Exchange examines the history of local government funding in England and Wales, from feudalism through the Victorian period to present day. The authors show how the contemporary system of highly centralised control is a product of the government’s desire to maintain uniformity and fiscal discipline.
Incentivising boring banking argues that deposit insurance in a fractional banking reserve system is economically damaging and financially destabilising (as it encourages excessive risk-taking by the banks), but politically impossible to avoid.
A State of Disorder contends that while some limited progress has been made in tackling anti social behaviour, there are a host of weaknesses with the government’s approach.
People used to say that public sector workers had great pensions to make up for their low salaries. That’s now out of date, as public sector workers have much better pay, as well as better pensions and conditions. People in the public sector are better paid and have pensions worth more – while enjoying shorter hours, more time off, and earlier retirement. There is scope to make savings without being unfair.
This report contends that there are a series of fundamental problems with the way the issue of drugs in prisons is approached – and that despite repeated warning signs, the Prison Service appears destined to continue down the same failed path.
The report argues that, whilst it has not yet filtered into wider general consciousness, there is a large body of economic evidence suggesting that reducing government borrowing would lead to higher growth, even in the short term (i.e. cutting the deficit early would promote recovery, not endanger it).
This report calls for a more honest approach from government. We argue that if the government wishes to use the Winter Fuel Payment funding to boost the incomes of older people, it should do so transparently through the pensions or benefits system. If, on the other hand, it is serious about helping people who struggle to heat their homes, the government should focus on improving domestic energy efficiency and effective approaches to tackling poverty.
This report analyses the health and safety regime in the UK. The problem lies less with the regulations themselves and more with the culture of over-compliance that has developed. There is considerable scope to align the health and safety regime more closely with common sense and to lessen the burdens that it creates, and the report suggests a number of areas where reform is needed.
This report examines the effect of various different types of tax on economic growth and employment.
It is a popular myth that smoking is a net contributor to the economy – our research finds that every single cigarette smoked costs the country 6.5 pence. In order to balance income and costs, tobacco duty should be progressively increased until the full societal cost of smoking is met through taxation.