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Sovereign default has become a reality in Greece with profound implications for the rest of the Euro Area and the international financial system. This paper looks at what lessons can be learnt by examining the last major sovereign default in Argentina 2002.
Financing Innovation argues that the government should concentrate efforts on removing barriers for innovative small businesses by allowing them to bypass all the current complexity on charges, reliefs, rates and exemptions and instead deal with a simple flat tax.
Father Figures reveals that the Child Support Agency has tended to put more emphasis on collecting child support from fathers who are working, ignoring those on benefit who are only required to contribute £5 a week. The report recommends imposing work obligations on these men and cutting their benefit if they don’t comply.
A Right to Data says that all non-personal data held by the public sector should be made available to the public for free. Opening up public data so that it can be linked, analysed and made useful could provide a huge economic and social boost, with some estimates suggesting that the upside for the economy could run into the billions of pounds.
Police Officer Pensions: Affordability of current schemes reveals that the cost of police officer pensions has increased markedly over the past 15 years from under £1 billion in 1995/6 to £2.5 billion in 2009/10 and recommends the development of a New Model Police Pension scheme that is more affordable for officers and taxpayers alike.
Gas Works? says that the government is “unnecessarily gambling with billpayers’ money”. It says that the UK’s energy generation plans are based on forecasting future gas prices which is a flawed strategy, potentially resulting in the UK missing out on the potential economic and environmental benefits of shale gas.
This report says that the government should consider allowing private companies to set up and run schools under a social enterprise model. Allowing private providers to take over the running of publicly run schools will create new places at a time when there is a severe shortage in many parts of the country.
This report accuses the Government of not clearly presenting the full impacts and costs of climate and renewable energy policies on households, and outlines how the UK could meet its carbon targets while saving households hundreds of pounds.
The current policy of subsidising select UK ‘green’ industries is based not on the subsidies for such selected sectors being the best way to reduce carbon emissions, but that a principal objective of these public subsidies is to promote UK growth, exports and employment. This is a big gamble, with renewables policies costing tens of billions of pounds more than necessary to meet 2020 carbon reduction targets.
Traditional thinking aligns economic growth with happiness. Conclusion: we’re in for a long dose of unhappiness. But the outlook for Britain need not be depressing. If governments, organisations and individuals responded with a new way of thinking, it would boost happiness and well-being.