The Week

The Week, 19 July 2019

Reformer of the week

The Secretary of State for Justice, David Gauke MP, for arguing that some custodial sentences should be replaced with community orders, based on new evidence. 

Quotes of the week

"The latest evidence suggests that if all offenders who currently receive prison sentences of less than six months were given a community order instead, we estimate that there would be around 32,000 fewer proven reoffences a year."

The Rt Hon David Gauke MP, Secretary of State for Justice, addressing the Social Market Foundation on Thursday.

Quote of the week

"The social justice implications of the squeeze on further education colleges are particularly troubling, given the high proportion of disadvantaged students in these institutions."

The Education Select Committee, in a report on school and college funding released on Wednesday.

Good week for


Wages are rising at their fastest rate since 2008, whilst unemployment remains at the lowest level since 1974.

Uncosted pledges

It is not clear how a £2 billion public sector pay rise will be funded without cuts to public sector spending, unless the budget increases. 

Bad week for

Long-term planning

A report by the Education Select Committee has said that plans for education funding are hampered by short-term thinking, short funding cycles, and poor cross-departmental working. 


Bad procurement practices like non-competitive tendering have forced the Government to pay out tens of millions in settlements to private providers.

Reform's Week 

Charlotte Pickles, Director of Reform, appeared on BBC Politics Live. She was also quoted in BBC News, The Independent, The Express, and the Financial Times, commenting on an 8 per cent rise in recorded knife crime offences.

On Wednesday, Reform hosted Edward Argar MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, for a roundtable on tackling domestic abuse. The event was kindly supported by Attenti. 

On Wednesday, Imogen Farhan, Researcher at Reform, wrote an article for Inside Housing on why the next Prime Minister needs to urgently address the crisis in housing benefit shortfalls. 

Also on Wednesday Professor Judith Townsend, Lecturer at the University of Sussex, wrote a blog arguing that digital court reforms should not overlook the needs of underrepresented court users.

On Thursday, Reform hosted Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for a roundtable on helping welfare claimants into employment. This event was kindly supported by Home Group.


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