19 September 2005
1. Reform announces cross-party backing
§ Reform today announces that an MP of each of the major political parties has joined its Advisory Board. The appointments – of Jeremy Browne, Liberal Democrat MP for Taunton, Frank Field, Labour MP for Birkenhead and Nick Herbert, Conservative MP for Arundel & South Downs – show that the issues of public sector reform and better economic performance are above party. They strengthen Reform’s ability to be an authoritative cross-party voice across the political spectrum.
2. New annual journal launched
§ The three MPs are interviewed in Reform’s 2005 journal, also released today. The journal includes new research which shows the opportunity costs of the huge increases in public spending since 1999-00. If public spending had increased in line with the rate of growth of the economy, rather than outstripping it, the starting and basic rates of income tax could be reduced to 9 per cent by 2007-08. A married couple on average earnings would benefit by nearly £2,000 per year.
§ The journal also includes:
– New briefing showing that public sector reform will make services better, more efficient and more equitable. For example, independent taxpayer-funded schools in the USA are up to 40 per cent cheaper than their state-run counterparts.
– Trevor Kavanagh, Political Editor of The Sun, on rising taxes and falling competitiveness. In an abridged version of his speech to Reform’s annual Council Dinner, he says: “The experience of the last 20 years is that a smaller government sector gives room for enterprise to flourish. It therefore must be a worry that government is rapidly expanding.”
– Derek Scott, the Prime Minister’s former economic adviser, on the urgent need for a coherent framework for pensions. He says: “The Government has a pretty good story to tell on tackling existing pensioner poverty but it has yet to put in place a coherent framework for the longer term and without that the next generation of pensioners will end up in poverty too.”
– Nick Bosanquet, Professor of Health Policy at Imperial College London, on where forthcoming tax rises will fall. He says: “For the last ten years most residents have thought of the UK as a low tax country. That view is about to change because direct tax rates will have to rise and middle England will bear the brunt.”
– Steven Schwartz, Vice-Chancellor of Brunel University, on the possibility of using income-contingent loans to fund health, welfare and industry subsidies as well as higher education.
– Nick Herbert MP on the direction of the Conservative Party. He says: “For five years we have allowed Tony Blair to occupy the ground of reform, frequently attacking him not for failing to go far enough but instead for daring to reform at all – tuition fees being the notorious example.”
3. Full Journal contents
§ Contents and leader, Andrew Haldenby, Reform Journal, 2005 (pdf, 102 kb)
§ A Year of Reform, Reform Journal, 2005 (pdf, 205 kb)
Reform’s achievements and plans for the future
§ Manifesto for Reform, Reform Journal, 2005 (pdf, 118 kb)
Principles for real reform of public services and the economy
§ NHS reform, Reform Journal, 2005 (pdf, 297 kb)
Reform’s influential reports on NHS costs and cancer care
§ Class of 2005, Reform Journal, 2005 (pdf, 361 kb)
Tax reductions would benefit young people most of all, argues Reform
§ News from the front, Trevor Kavanagh, Reform Journal, 2005 (pdf, 64 kb)
Rising taxes and falling competitiveness are major concerns facing modern Britain, says Trevor Kavanagh, Political Editor of The Sun
§ Common purpose – interview with Jeremy Browne, Frank Field and Nick Herbert, Reform Journal, 2005 (pdf, 142 kb)
Shane Frith, Reform’s Communications Manager, interviews Jeremy Browne, Frank Field and Nick Herbert, the new Parliamentary members of Reform’s cross-party Advisory Board
§ REFORM WORKS
§ Improving efficiency, Reform Journal, 2005 (pdf, 156 kb)
Real reform will improve productivity, reduce costs and enable tax reductions
§ Achieving equity, Reform Journal, 2005 (pdf, 143 kb)
Real reform will empower the many with the choices currently available only to the few
§ Raising performance, Reform Journal, 2005 (pdf, 180 kb)
Real reform will dramatically improve the performance of public services and the economy
§ Saving Time, Derek Scott, Reform Journal, 2005 (pdf, 58 kb)
A coherent pensions framework requires action rather than words, says Derek Scott, Economic Consultant to KPMG and Economics Adviser to the Prime Minister until the end of 2003
§ Hitting Home, Nick Bosanquet, Reform Journal, 2005 (pdf, 58 kb)
The next five years will see rising taxes and a crisis of public sector affordability, says Nick Bosanquet, Professor of Health Policy, Imperial College London
§ Eastern promise, Roger Kerr, Reform Journal, 2005 (pdf, 59 kb)
Countries with flexible economies will benefit from the growth of China and India, says Roger Kerr, Executive Director of the New Zealand Round Table
§ Real prudence, Corin Taylor, Reform Journal, 2005 (pdf, 68 kb)
If the Government had held spending increases to the growth of the economy since 1999-00, the basic and starting rates of income tax could be reduced to 9 per cent, says Corin Taylor, Economics Research Officer at Reform
§ Pay as you go, Steven Schwartz, Reform Journal, 2005 (pdf, 60 kb)
The idea of income-contingent loans can apply to health and welfare as well as higher education, says Steven Schwartz, Vice-Chancellor of Brunel University
§ New conviction, Nick Herbert, Reform Journal, 2005 (pdf, 60 kb)
It is time for the Conservatives to become the party of radical reform, says Nick Herbert MP
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