Press coverage

Find coverage in the press of Reform's latest work below. 

We are always happy to comment on policy issues relevant to our work. If you would like a quote, an interview, or a background briefing, please email press@reform.uk or ring 020 7799 6699 for the quickest response.  

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Worrying hypothecated health tax and lavish universal welfare spending overshadow sensible Lib Dem manifesto

Commenting on the Liberal Democrats proposed hypothecated Health and Care Tax, Reform Health Lead and Research Manager, Claudia Martinez, said:

 

“The Liberal Democrats’ pledge to introduce a ring-fenced health and social care tax is profoundly misguided. It ties NHS funding to an unpredictable economic cycle and takes no account of the fact that health and social care spending is increasing at a faster rate than GDP.

“Far from showing the NHS is safe in Liberal Democrat hands, this policy places risk on a system that desperately needs financial certainty.”

Commenting on the manifesto, Charlotte Pickles, Director of the Reform think tank, said:

“The Liberal Democrats’ pledge to reduce the national debt is welcome, but this fiscal prudence is undermined by the sheer scale of manifesto spending commitments.

“Universal welfare pledges such as maintaining the pensions triple lock and committing £13bn to expand free childcare may be electorally appealing, but they’re a waste of taxpayers’ money.

“While this manifesto does contain some promising policies – such as a later life skills budget and support for carers – it is not a viable programme for government.”

 

 

 

 

 

Lib Dem recruitment drive and school spend must be aimed at schools most in need, says think tank

Commenting on education spending and teacher recruitment announcements, Dr Luke Heselwood, Reform education lead, said:

“While extra funding for schools is welcome, it should be targeted at those facing the largest financial difficulty. Simply ‘levelling up’ per-pupil spend risks wasting taxpayers’ money.

“20,000 new teachers will help to plug the vacancy gap, but raising attainment must be the primary objective. Effort must be made to get the best teachers into the worst performing schools, where they can have the most impact.

“Parties also need to think about how to retain teachers – there is little point focusing on getting people in the front door, if the number of teachers leaving out the back door continues to grow.”

Conservative Party's knife crime announcement welcomed by think tank

Welcoming the Conservative Party's knife crime announcement, Charlotte Pickles, said:

"This is a welcome balance between prevention and enforcement from the Conservative Party.

"Any politician thinking that we can arrest our way out of this knife crime epidemic is wrong. Stemming the violence means tackling its root causes - school exclusion, poor mental health and drugs.   

"But where arrests are made, swift prosecution is key, and Boris Johnson's pledge to dramatically speed up the charging process is good news.  To deliver on this promise, however, he will have to address the huge strain already on our courts system."

City Am, 19 November 2019

Claudia Martinez, Research Manager and Health lead, wrote an opinion piece for City AM highlighting the need for reform within the NHS, not just extra spending. 

Read the full article here

'Access for all?' report coverage

On Friday 15 November, Reform published 'Access for all?' which was covered by The Times

Politicians should try to out-reform, not out-spend one another to cut A&E waits

Commenting on new A&E performance data, Reform think tank Health policy lead, Claudia Martinez, said:

“The health service needs fundamental reform to end reliance on A&E and reduce the demand crippling services.

“This data shows that one in three attend A&E for minor treatment and illnesses, many of whom could be treated elsewhere. However, while one in 10 wait three weeks to see a GP and just 10 per cent of patients think they can book weekend appointments, A&E is the default.

“To drive down demand for A&E, Party manifestos must pledge whole-system reform to make care available in the community. Investment in primary care and a credible plan to recruit and retain GPs is urgently needed to make this a reality.” 

LBC, 11 November 2019

Charlotte Pickles, Director of Reform, joined LBC's Cross Question debate with Iain Dale, covering key points of policy for the 2019 General Election. 

You can watch the show here.

BBC NEWS, 4 November 2019

Charlotte Pickles, Director of Reform, spoke on BBC News about the politicisation of the NHS during the 2019 General Election.

BBC Radio 5 Live, 31 October 2019

Charlotte Pickles, Director of Reform, spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live radio about the latest Ministry of Justice figures which showed a record high in cases of prison violence and increases in self harm.

You can listen from 27.47 here.