The Week, 5 August 2016

5 August 2016

This week Jeremy Corbyn put forward 10 pledges in the Labour leadership campaign. He would like to “put the public back into our economy and services” and specifically spoke of ending private-sector involvement in the NHS. This not only overlooks evidence that competition from private companies improves healthcare but ignores the views of the public. In 2015 Reform carried out a poll that showed nearly 60 per cent of people believe it does not matter whether NHS services are public or private, as long as they are free at the point of use.

Kate Laycock, Researcher, Reform

Reformer of the week

Baroness Ros Altmann voiced concerns over the “triple-lock” pension system. She has put forward ideas for a “double-lock” instead that maintains increases to the state pension based on earnings or inflation but loses the 2.5 per cent benchmark. Reform wrote on this in 2015.

Reactionary of the week

Jeremy Corbyn, as above.

Good week for…

Clarity in NHS funding structures

On Tuesday, the High Court ruled that NHS England, not local authorities, is responsible for funding pre-exposure prophylaxis for patients at high risk of contracting HIV. The confusion over accountability in the NHS is stalling reform.

Industrial harmony

On Wednesday, official figures showed that in 2015 the number of workers going on strike was the lowest recorded for over 120 years.

Workforce welfare

Also on Wednesday, the Office for National Statistics reported annual leave is at its highest level since 2007 as workers worry less about redundancy.

Bad week for…

Equal opportunities

On Tuesday, figures from School Dash showed that poorer children in England are less likely to attend the best schools even if they live nearby.

Home owners

Also on Tuesday, The Resolution Foundation published data showing home ownership sits at 63.8 per cent, its lowest level since 1986.

Technophobes

On Wednesday, the Government awarded a contract to the start-up firm Credits for the supply of blockchain to public services.

Quotes of the week

“The decision to leave the European Union marks a regime change. In the coming years, the UK will redefine its openness to the movement of goods, services, people and capital.

Some of the adjustments to this new reality may prove difficult and many will take time. But the UK can handle change. It has one of the most flexible economies in the world. It benefits from a deep reservoir of human capital, world-class infrastructure and the rule of law. Its people are admired the world over for their strength under adversity. Monetary policy can support the necessary adjustments of the UK economy during a period of heightened uncertainty.”

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, speaking at the inflation report press conference on Thursday

“We will end health service privatisation and bring services into a secure, publicly-provided NHS. We will integrate the NHS and social care for older and disabled people, funding dignity across the board and ensure parity for mental health services…. We will rebuild public services and expand democratic participation, put the public back into our economy, give people a real say in their local communities, and increase local and regional democracy. We will rebuild our economy with public investment to deliver wealth for all, across our regions and nations in a genuinely mixed economy.”

Jeremy Corbyn, speaking on Thursday in the Labour leadership hustings

Reform’s Week

Media

On Friday, Ben Dobson, Researcher at Reform, wrote a blog for the Employment Related Services Association detailing the major recommendations in Reform’s latest welfare report, Stepping up, breaking barriers.

Reformer Blog

On Monday, Phil Smith, Chairman of Cisco UK & Ireland, wrote a guest blog for Reform in which he argued that digitisation is one of the biggest levers the UK has for improved productivity.

On Tuesday, Andrew Haldenby, Director at Reform, recorded a video blog detailing Reform’s Autumn events programme and upcoming research on value for money and the workforce.

On Wednesday, Alexander Hitchcock, Researcher at Reform, wrote a blog in which he argued that the EU referendum result makes the case for better-designed public services, which work for everyone, stronger than ever.

On Thursday, Charlie Bruin, Chief Executive of Liberata, wrote a guest blog for Reform in which he argued that better use of data can make real differences in tackling fraud and error in the welfare system.

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