The Week

The Week, 23 June 2017

This week the Chancellor toughened the Government’s position on the public finances, after post-election debates about the “end of austerity.” He argued that taxes and borrowing should not rise, and that the focus should be on investment, regional disparities and skills. Next week look out for Reform reports on social care and borders.

Louis Coiffait, Head of Education

Reformers of the week

French President Emmanuel Macron, who won 350 of 577 seats on a platform of long-overdue reforms. Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, for establishing a time-saving new partnership with DeepMind.

Reactionary of the week

Gareth Bacon, Conservative leader on the London Assembly, who appeared to criticise the modernisation of the Metropolitan Police.

Good week for...

Protecting data

On Tuesday, the Information Commissioner’s Office hosted a global conference on how best to implement the May 2018 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

98 pioneering employers

On Wednesday, the first ever social mobility index was published, with Justine Greening describing it as a "rocket booster" for the economy.

London police reforms

On Thursday, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, outlined how services could be delivered more efficiently with flat funding.

Bad week for...


Public sector cyber security

On Monday, Professor Chris Hankin of Imperial College highlighted that new risks have to be managed for the Internet of Things to reach its potential.

Grammar schools

On Wednesday, selective education was notably absent from either the Queen's speech or the accompanying notes, ending nine months of intense debate.

Fairer funding formulas

Also on Wednesday, much-needed new approaches for allocating money between police forces and schools looked more uncertain.

Quotes of the week

“Simple changes to the implementation of new technologies can lead to radically different conclusions about whether new technologies are valuable.”

Todd Rogers, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School on Monday.

“…we must not lose sight of the unchanging economic facts of life. Funding for public services can only be delivered in one of three ways: higher taxes; higher borrowing; or stronger economic growth. And only one of those three choices is a long-term sustainable solution for this country in the face of the inexorable pressure of an ageing population.”

Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Mansion House speech on Tuesday.

“We will work to address the challenges of social care for our ageing population, bringing forward proposals for consultation to build widespread support. The ageing population presents one of our nation’s most profound challenges. It raises critical questions as to how as a society we enable all adults to live well into later life and how we deliver sustainable public services that support them to do so."

Her Majesty the Queen, in her 2017 speech to both Houses of Parliament on Wednesday.

Reform’s Week


On Tuesday, Reform held a roundtable led by Sherin Aminossehe, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Government Property Profession at the Government Property Unit, to discuss modernising the government estate.


On Wednesday, Louis Coiffait, Head of Education at Reform, contributed to an article in Schools Week encouraging leaders of stand-alone schools to work with others more. On Friday, Andrew Haldenby, Director at Reform, appeared on Sky News  to discuss how police can increase efficiency.


On Tuesday, Andrew Haldenby wrote a blog reviewing what happened during the last "end of austerity" ie. rapid increases in public spending introduced between 1999-00 and 2007-08.

On Thursday, Danail Vasilev, Researcher at Reform, argued that Conservative manifesto plans for social care can only be a short-term solution.

On Thursday, Eleonora Harwich, Researcher at Reform, authored a blog in Think Digital Partners on biases in data, how these emerge and the negative impact of using algorithms based on such information as decision support tools.