An early Christmas present from HMRC’s dodgy computers suggests trouble ahead?

I’ve just been on the sharp end of HMRCs rather dodgy tax computers. I read stories about them spitting out incorrect tax codes and causing all sorts of mayhem, but I never thought it would happen to me. Continue reading “An early Christmas present from HMRC’s dodgy computers suggests trouble ahead?”

’You Can’t Borrow Your Way Out of a Debt Crisis’. Er, actually you can Mr Osborne. It depends….

One of George Osborne’s favourite mantra’s is the above one. Unfortunately it’s based on a rather school-boy understanding of economics.
Of course everyone is familiar with the personal debt spiral. Adam and Eve enjoy the good life. They spend a bit more than they earn and make up the difference with credit card debt. Once they’ve maxed out their credit cards they start taking out pay-day loans at exorbitant interest. Before you know it their mole-hill of debt has turned into a mountain and they have no way out except bankruptcy and/or years of austerity. Continue reading “’You Can’t Borrow Your Way Out of a Debt Crisis’. Er, actually you can Mr Osborne. It depends….”

The Autumn Statement Blame Game: Austerity Agitprop and the Double (Triple) Dip (#SR2013)

The second major thing wrong with today’s Autumn Statement was the usual political spin embedded in Mr Osborne’s “it weren’t me guv” plea.

According to the Chancellor, supposedly aided and abetted by the OBR, the poorer than expected economic results, and knock-on poorer than expected public finances, is all down to those rotten Continentals over in the Eurozone (EZ). Continue reading “The Autumn Statement Blame Game: Austerity Agitprop and the Double (Triple) Dip (#SR2013)”

Geeky Gripes About the Autumn Statement. (#SR2013)

George Osborne delivered his Autumn Statement today to general critical declaim.

Let me begin with a rather geeky gripe about the Autumn Statement. It was a mini-Budget, indeed a mini-Spending Review, rather than an Autumn Statement. In this George Osborne has gone one up on his predecessor, Alistair Darling, who has famously said he delivered 6 Budgets in his 3 years as Chancellor (in his book ‘Back from the Brink’). Continue reading “Geeky Gripes About the Autumn Statement. (#SR2013)”

Whitehall: What a Performance

In a couple of weeks I’m attending a (private) seminar on Lessons from the History of Whitehall Performance Measurement Systems.

I have fairly well developed views of my own on this already, but I’d be very interested to get any input from colleagues, especially those with “insider knowledge” of how these things have worked and evolved. Continue reading “Whitehall: What a Performance”

MBS Doctoral Funding Opportunities – September 2013 entry

Please see below for details of available funding for PhDs starting 2013.

If anyone is interested in applying to research in the areas of public sector performance, civil service reform, general public management, etc I would be willing to consider supporting an application and being named as a potential supervisor. But please note these schemes are highly competitive. Continue reading “MBS Doctoral Funding Opportunities – September 2013 entry”

Police and Crime Commissioners: A Muddled Policy Shambolically Implemented.

I appeared briefly on BBC TV nationally and in the NW after the PCC election farce and made some remarks I thought it might be worth just expanding on a little.

There were two issues about these elections: were they a good idea in the first place? And were they badly implemented? Continue reading “Police and Crime Commissioners: A Muddled Policy Shambolically Implemented.”

Why Health and Education get more expensive and Computers don’t.

What do health care, education, symphony orchestras and hairdressing all have in common? They all seem to get remorselessly more costly to produce. A new book – The Cost Disease by William Baumol and others – sets out to explain why. Continue reading “Why Health and Education get more expensive and Computers don’t.”

Good Government – a Mid-Term Review (Event)

The Institute for Government is pleased to bring to your attention the following event hosted by the Better Government Initiative.

Good Government – a Mid-Term Review An event to mark the launch of a new report

Wednesday 14th November 2012, 18:00 – 19:30 Continue reading “Good Government – a Mid-Term Review (Event)”