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  • Why more preferences are not more representative

    Why more preferences are not more representative

    The main selling point of the AV system has been that it is possible to name multiple preferences. The idea that AV offers 'fairer votes' is born out of the intuition that under first-past-the-post, results in marginal constituencies under-represent the preferences of the candidate placed second, ...
  • Bank competition and Vickers

    Bank competition and Vickers

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    On Monday, the Vickers Commission  made its preliminary recommendations on potential banking reform. There is much to welcome, in particular an increased focus on the need for more competition in the retail banking sector, as proposed by Andrea Leadsom . Likewise Howard Flight was making Vickers’ case for ...
  • The Rally Against Debt

    The Rally Against Debt

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    When the 'Rally Against Debt' idea was first established, I was sceptical about attending. It would have felt odd marching as public sector workers lost their jobs, I thought, even though I knew full well (and have long argued) that the cuts are entirely necessary in reducing the budget ...
  • Change for the better: The end of EMA

    Change for the better: The end of EMA

    uest blog from our current intern, Thomas BusbyFor those not up-to-date with your further education-related news, the current system of grants to students aged 16-19, the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA), is to be cut by the Coalition government.  Education Secretary Michael Gove announced last week that ...
  • AV? No, no, no.

    AV? No, no, no.

    This week, the No2AV campaign shifted its attention to a new theme – ‘One person, one vote’ .This comes after 25 leading historians, including David Starkey and CPS board member Niall Ferguson, wrote to The Times claiming that a move to the AV system would mean that ...
  • Abolish NICs....properly

    Abolish NICs....properly

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    A simple tax system is a pillar of any long-term strategy for growth. This is why I was delighted by the pre-Budget rumours of the possible merging of NICs with income tax.As David Martin outlined in Abolish NICs : NICs are complicated, create perverse incentives and are by ...
  • Why care for Budget day curiousity?

    Why care for Budget day curiousity?

    Administrator CPS | | Economy
    Post by David Gibson Budget Day is a curious old thing. Like much of parliamentary business, it is essentially just another tradition accompanied by some peculiar formalities. Take for example, the obligatory cheesy photo-op as the proud Chancellor thrusts high his red box of joy to the ...
  • Library closures and politics today

    Library closures and politics today

    The outrage in reaction to planned library closures has highlighted a great problem with politics today: the tendency to polarise debate into two opposed camps with no middle ground in between.When many councils responded to cuts by proposing to close some libraries, critics adopted wildly exaggerated ...
  • Enterprise Zones

    Enterprise Zones

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    The Chancellor George Osborne recently announced that he would look to create at least 10 ‘Enterprise Zones’ in the forthcoming budget. These were no doubt at least partly inspired by the Enterprise Zone policy of Margaret Thatcher, which used localised supply-side policies to eliminate dereliction and entice businesses to ...
  • R&D - It's Not Rocket Science, but It Could Be

    R&D - It's Not Rocket Science, but It Could Be

    A guest post from our intern - David Gibson Last Thursday, I attended a lecture by Prof Brian Cox at the Royal Geographic Society. The event was the Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture in aid of Save the Rhino International. Besides conserving endangered pachyderms and trying to explain ...
  • If I could turn back time

    If I could turn back time

    Ryan Bourne | | Public Services
    Following on from last week's blog post on cuts, I have been reviewing the projected scale of government spending in each department by 2014/15.I thought it would be good to share the data with you to show the scale of real spending across different departments by 2014/15 - and how far this takes the area back ...
  • Shout if you see Ed Llewellyn in Waterstones

    Shout if you see Ed Llewellyn in Waterstones

    Tim Knox | | General
    The most bizarre couple of sentences that I have read recently came from Jonathan Powell's memoir, The New Machiavelli.Powell, then Chief of Staff to Tony Blair, is writing about the immediate aftermath of 9/11:"After 9/11 it was clear that military action was essential, but we were all a ...
  • Tackling the cycle of dependency – is IDS’ welfare reform tough enough?

    Tackling the cycle of dependency – is IDS’ welfare reform tough enough?

    Administrator CPS | | Social Policy
    Much of the debate over Iain Duncan Smith’s Universal Credit has centred on whether or not there are jobs for the millions of unemployed and whether they have the skills to meet employers’ needs. Iain Duncan Smith insists that many of them could find unskilled jobs and ...
  • TAKE OUR TEST: Do you know your Big Society from your Third Way?

    TAKE OUR TEST: Do you know your Big Society from your Third Way?

    Tim Knox | | Social Policy
    Twenty years after Mrs Thatcher left office, we all still have a clear idea of what she stood for. Mention “Thatcherism” to anyone over the age of thirty and you will get a pretty clear response.  We don’t seem to be quite there yet with the Big ...
  • Smoke and mirrors in the cuts debate

    Smoke and mirrors in the cuts debate

    Ryan Bourne | | Economy
    The quality of the debate around spending cuts has been tarnished by excessive scare-mongering on the one hand, and clever statistics on the other.If you believe groups like 'False Economy' you will regard cuts as resulting in decimated public services - whilst some Conservative MPs and commentators ...