Archive for the 'public policy' Category

Election focus: how can the Left re-engage the people?

simon-winlow

Simon Winlow

In the second of our blog pieces focusing on the fast-approaching General Election, Simon Winlow, co-author of The rise of the right asks how it can be that, against a background of social, financial and environmental catastrophe, a political party dedicated to the neoliberalism seem set to secure a large majority. How can the Left get the people on side again?

There’s a terrible air of nihilism, cynicism and acceptance about the upcoming election. The Conservatives have made huge gains in the local council elections, and UKIP and Labour have lost quite badly. Of course, the general election could be very different. More people will vote, and the local issues that can sway council elections tend to be forgotten as the big issues of the day take precedence.

Theresa May has clearly timed the election to take advantage of disarray in the Labour Party, and in the hope carrying a large mandate into the upcoming Brexit negotiations. Pollsters are predicting a landslide for the Tory party, with UKIP disappearing as an electoral force and Labour continuing its slide toward oblivion.

Continue reading ‘Election focus: how can the Left re-engage the people?’

Election focus: Housing policy predictions & radical solutions

In the run up to the General Election we will be bringing you insightful pieces from our authors on policy-relevant subjects, including housing, health, welfare and, underpinning it all, increasing social inequality.

Let’s look beneath the distraction of Brexit and Labour’s disarray and examine the issues we really need to be thinking about as we put our cross in the box on the 8th June.

DB pic

Duncan Bowie

In this piece, Duncan Bowie, author of Radical solutions to the housing supply crisis looks at what housing policies may be included in the party manifestos and explains the radical solutions we need.

“The focus on Brexit and the negotiations on withdrawal from the European Union has meant that housing has not, at least as yet, become the key issue in the election campaign that perhaps would have been expected had the referendum not taken place.

Debates so far have focused far too much on the contrast between Theresa May’s advocacy of ‘strong and stable leadership’ and whether or not the Labour Party leader is fit to be Prime Minister or the divided Labour Party is ‘fit to govern’. There has been little focus on policy issues, though (at the time of writing), the main party manifestos have not been published.

The political parties, including the Conservatives, were all caught on the hop by the election announcement and consequently the drafting of the various electoral offers have been somewhat of a rushed process. Even a matter of weeks before the election was called, Labour housing spokespersons were reluctant to make any policy statements policy on the basis that it would be premature to give commitments before 2020, even though housing was bound to be a key issue in the local and city region Mayor elections, which were scheduled. Labour was even hesitant to commit to repealing the 2016 Housing and Planning Act, despite the fact they had opposed it in parliament.

Continue reading ‘Election focus: Housing policy predictions & radical solutions’

Tax reform and a Corbyn-led government will save our local services

Peter Latham, author of Who stole the town hall?, argues that the Spring Budget highlighted the Conservative Party’s allegiance to the City of London, not the small businesses, entrepreneurs and self-employed they profess to support.

He says that, to resist Tory-driven austerity policies and save our public services, we need a resurgence of social democracy and a reformed tax system.

“The Chancellor’s decision not to increase self-employed national insurance contributions (NIC) by £2bn, in a U-turn following the Spring Budget on 8th March, showed that the Tory government is ‘imprisoned by a minority of its backbenchers and by the Daily Mail’ according to The Guardian, 16 March 2017.

Moreover, as Aditya Chakrabortty noted, the government’s policies ‘hit the just-about-managing harder than the rich’. For example, the 2016 red book lists reductions to taxes on big businesses worth £18bn over the next five years.

Conversely, Jeremy Corbyn’s devastating assault on the Chancellor’s provision of just £2bn over three years to cover the crisis in social care – just a third of what the Local Government Association calculates is necessary – was slated by the mainstream media for not mentioning the Tory manifesto: even though he attacked the decision to raise the NIC rate.

Many Tory MPs fight shy of acknowledging their party’s first priority to the City of London, preferring to pass themselves off as the voice of small businesses, entrepreneurs and the self-employed. Increasing Class 4 NICs for the self-employed stuck in their craw, leading many party members to inform Philip Hammond and Theresa May that they would not support it.

Continue reading ‘Tax reform and a Corbyn-led government will save our local services’

Human-centred governance: transforming government from the outside-in

Design approaches are now being applied all over the world as a powerful approach to innovating public policies and services. Christian Bason, author of Leading public design: Discovering human-centred governance, argues that by bringing design methods into play, public managers can lead change with citizens at the centre, and discover a new model for steering public organisations: human-centred governance.

Christian Bason

From the United Nations, the European Union and the World Bank to the governments of Britain, the United States, Denmark and Chile, and to cities like Helsinki, Adelaide and Copenhagen, design methods are now used to re-think and re-do public services.

But how do these approaches influence public innovation? How do they change the roles of public managers? Might they even signal the rise of new governance models or paradigms?

New research conducted with Copenhagen Business School, Stanford University, Case Western University and Oxford Business School examines the experiences of public managers who have pioneered the use of design approaches in government.

Continue reading ‘Human-centred governance: transforming government from the outside-in’

Does social mobility leave us nowhere to go?

Graeme Atherton, author of ‘The Success Paradox: why we need a holistic theory of social mobility’ and director of the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON), the professional organisation for access to Higher Education (HE) in England. 

In today’s guest blog Graeme suggests the broken contract of ‘social mobility’ expected in the US and UK lies at the base of the attraction felt by many towards the anti-establishment messages delivered by the likes of Donald Trump and Brexit…

AthertonStagnating social mobility in both the UK and the US is well documented.

The stifling of opportunity for many to move up the economic ladder, and to bequeath such chances to their children has been apparent some time now in the UK and US. Internationally comparative research shows that compared to countries such as Canada and Sweden, British and American children are significantly more likely to have their income dictated by what their parents earn.

This apparent stagnation in social mobility is now beginning to shape not just the views of the policymakers but also the voters. The emergence of the unlikely anti-establishment triumvirate of Trump, Corbyn and Sanders owes much to the frustration people feel regarding the opportunities available to them. The Brexit vote, while a consequence of a conflation of factors coming together, undoubtedly was to some extent an expression of this frustration. Continue reading ‘Does social mobility leave us nowhere to go?’

As pension ages rise, what are our prospects for working longer?

In March of this year the UK government began its long-term review of state pension ages, with a number of commentators predicting large increases in the age of eligibility. David Lain, author of Reconstructing Retirement, sets the context for this review by considering wider changes to retirement policy.

David Lain 4It is commonly said that retirement is changing, with people increasingly expecting to do some form of paid work after ‘retirement’ age.

Sara Rix from AARP, for example, reports perceptions from the US that Baby Boomers will ‘reinvent and/or revolutionise retirement… they will… combine work and leisure in new and more rewarding ways’.

Increasing employment

In reality, however, it is arguably governments that most want us to ‘rethink’ retirement. In my view UK and US governments are actually seeking to reconstruct retirement, by increasing employment at age 65+ and dissolving the notion fixed retirement ages. They are doing this in two ways. Continue reading ‘As pension ages rise, what are our prospects for working longer?’

What will happen to UK immigrants after Brexit?

Academic and Policy Press author Jill Rutter recently answered this question in her blog which was originally posted on the Integration Hub and then again in Newsweek.  Below we’ve published a tantalising taster of her thoughts on the matter for you and if you’d like to read more why not check out the full article on Newsweek here.

Jill Rutter

Jill Rutter

With such an intense focus on immigration policy—determining who can enter and stay in the U.K.—there is a danger that integration, and what happens to migrants after they arrive in the U.K., will be forgotten.

But the referendum result also raises many questions about the future direction of integration policy. It shows clearly that debates about integration play out differently in the different parts of the U.K.

Some of the strongest support for Leave came from the towns and villages of the Fens, the agricultural heart of England, with four of the top ten biggest Leave votes coming from this area. The Fens are a major producer of cereals and vegetables, which support a large food packing and processing industry. The intensification of agriculture and changes to food  production and consumption patterns—particularly ‘just-in-time production’ for supermarkets—require a large, but flexible labor supply, now increasingly made up of EU migrants, many of them agency workers. Staff turnover in businesses that use agency workers makes it difficult for friendships to be forged between migrants and non-migrants……Continue reading by clicking here

 

Moving on up and getting on [FC]Jill Rutter’s latest book Moving up and getting on: Migration integration and social cohesion can be purchased here from the Policy Press website for special ‘Understanding Brexit‘ 50% discounted price £12.49.

Jill Rutter is Head of Research and Policy at the Family and Childcare Trust and Vice-Chair of the Migration Museum Project. Previously she worked at the Refugee Council and at London Metropolitan University. From 2007-2009 she was based at Institute for Public Policy Research, one of the UK’s largest think tanks, where she led its work on migrant integration. A political blogger and media commentator, this is her first book that addresses broader community relations.

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The views and opinions expressed on this blog site are solely those of the original blogpost authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the Policy Press and/or any/all contributors to this site.


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