Welcome to the Talk Issues ‘Thinktank Roundup’ – your one-stop review of all the best publications, research, commentary and events from leading UK think tanks. Not surprisingly two themes dominate the output this week – the arrival of the UK’s first coalition government in 60+ years and the implications of the coming fiscal contraction.
Reports, Publications & Research
- The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has a report on why the planned referendum on electoral reform “could be a missed opportunity to change politics in the UK for the better.” The IPPR suggest the Additional Member System would be most appropriate for Westminster and any referendum which only offers a straight choice between the current First Past the Post (FPTP) system and Alternative Vote (AV) will not give the electorate the chance to opt for fair proportional voting.
- With possible implications for the Tories ‘Big Society’ theme the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published an interesting report by Age Concern London on how end service users can be involved in shaping & commissioning local services.
- DEMOS is launching a new project on ‘multi-dimensional poverty’. The aim is to develop an alternative to most common definition of poverty – households that live below 60 per cent of median equivalised income – that reflects the full range of factors that affect quality of life and wellbeing.
- Policy Network carry an interesting essay by Labour peer Anthony Giddens on the Rise & Fall of New Labour
Briefs, Articles & Comment
- The Institute for Fiscal Studies – whose Director Robert Chote came as close as a thinktank Director can to stardom during the campaign – had a press release with some initial thoughts on the Tory / Lib Dem coalition agreement. Robert & Mike Brewer (Director of Tax and Welfare research) look at the option for deficit reduction under the coalition and where the balance lies between spending restraint and tax increases.
- The healthcare thinktank ‘The Kings Fund’ also looks the coalition agreement and in particular the implications for health policy. Anna Dixon points out that:
“deciding how to tackle these issues will require serious debate, compromise and ultimately consensus [and] it might just provide an opportunity for the NHS to avoid the more damaging swings in political fortune of the past, albeit briefly.”
- On the Adam Smith Institute blog Tom Clougherty reflects on price aggregates and the options open to the Bank of England in terms of targetting inflation
There are no events to highlight at the moment but future roundups will include details on events, conferences & speeches organised by the major thinktanks. If there’s anything else worthwhile you’d like to share please let us know in the comments.