REFORM THIS WEEK INC BALLS’ UP & DOWN


Reform
– The Week


This
week saw a new realism gripping government as both politicians and Whitehall
acknowledged the need for reductions in public spending. Sir Gus
O’Donnell
, the Cabinet Secretary, took the unprecedented step of warning
that there would be sweeping cuts in public services, while Lord Mandelson and
for the first time Gordon Brown
acknowledged that there would be “tough choices”. But a growing number of
commentators, including the Telegraph’s Ben
Brogan
and the Times’ Danny
Finkelstein
, argued that tax rises would be necessary in addition to
spending cuts to bring the deficit under control. Politicians must be wary of
stunting economic growth as the UK begins to exit the
recession.

Dale
Bassett, Editor

Reformer of the
week


Lord
Mandelson
, who
acknowledged that “there will be spending choices and a growing need for greater
efficiency across the board, and less
spending
in some programmes”.

Reactionary of
the week


Professor
Alice Rogers
, Vice
President of the London Mathematical Society, for advocating a faux maths A-level as the solution to
widening post-16 maths participation.

Good week
for

 

Education
reform

Michael
Gove
proposed that academics take a greater role in setting school exams,
and Sir
Cyril Taylor
advocated replacing league tables with a much greater wealth of
accessible information. Meanwhile Oxford University’s outgoing Vice Chancellor
advanced the case for the university’s
privatisation
.

Crime
kingpins

A new
government report on serious
organised crime
proposed that all regions should establish dedicated police
units to fight the growing threat, but offered little in the way of incentives
or funding.

Shrinking
the state

A
report urged Ireland to cut 17,500 public
sector jobs
and 5 per cent of social welfare spending to save £4.6 billion a
year.

Bad week
for

 

Spending
restraint

Lord
Adonis became the latest Cabinet Minister to argue for ringfenced
spending
, while the Centre
for Social Justice
proposed unfunded tax advantages and counselling for
married couples.

Accepting
the inevitable

The
Government published a long-awaited look at long
term social care
, sensibly resisting the temptation to load the whole
financial burden onto the taxpayer. However the options should be widened to
include greater insurance input.

Green
shoots

As unemployment
breached 2.38 million, the IMF
warned that the UK’s economic recovery remains uncertain and is set to be both
“slow and subdued”.

Quote of the
week


“This
week, in a report called Every Family Matters, Iain Duncan Smith’s Centre
for Social Justice repeated its demand, which is now Conservative party policy,
that marriage be recognised in the tax system. It is strange to see
Conservatives, who usually disparage the capacity of government to make the
world a better place, turn into Ed Balls when it comes to
marriage.”

Philip
Collins

Reform’s
week


Reform
launched its new report, Productive parents, at an event with Maria
Miller MP and Shirley Conran OBE. The report was covered by
BBC
Online
The Financial
Times
, Children and Young
People Now
, Nursery
World
, Bytestart, The Daily Telegraph,
Community
Newswire
, Ask
a Mum
, Progress
Online
, Mumsnet
and Made
for Mums
. Reform’s Patrick Nolan wrote for the Spectator
and ConservativeHome.
Elizabeth Truss
wrote for the
Yorkshire
Post
and Thomas Cawston wrote for the
Daily
Mail
.

 

There
was further coverage of Educators for Reform’s submission to the QCA
consultation on the new Use of Maths A-level, including the
Guardian,
Mail,
Liverpool
Daily Post
, Press
Association
,
TES, THE
and Tim
Gowers
blog. Reform’s report
A new level was also discussed in the
Independent
and on
the Guardian
website.

 

Reform
continued to debate the future of public spending, on
CentreRight, the
Guardian, the FT,
The World
Tonight
(at 14:36)
and
The Week in
Westminster
(at
8:40).

 

Elizabeth
Truss, Deputy Director of Reform, appeared in a feature in the Observer.

 

Reform
held a
seminar with Nick Herbert MP discussing the future of water policy.

 

 

DALE
BASSETT
Senior Researcher
REFORM
45 Great Peter Street

London
SW1P
3LT
 
Tel 020 7799 6699
Fax 020 7233 4446
www.reform.co.uk
 
Reform is an independent, non-party
think tank whose mission is to set out a better way to deliver public services
and economic prosperity.

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