The Week

The Week, 27 September 2019

Reformer of the Week

The Labour Party, for calling on shareholders, such as pension providers, to use their influence to demand companies pay their taxes.

Reactionary of the Week

The Labour Party, for announcing a £6 billion policy for free personal care for the over-65s to be funded through general taxation. Reform’s video on the social care crisis explains why this funding model isn’t sustainable.

Quote of the Week

 “I want all universities, including the most selective, to do everything they can to help disadvantaged students access a world-class education, but they also need to keep them there and limit the numbers dropping out of courses. My message is clear – up your game and get on with it.”

Gavin Williamson MP, Secretary of State for Education, on Thursday.

Good week for

The North-South divide

New data shows Middlesbrough, Liverpool, Knowsley, Kingston upon Hull and Manchester are the local authorities with the highest proportions of neighbourhoods among the most deprived in England. 88 per cent of the most deprived neighbourhoods in 2019 were also the most deprived in 2015.

Data in government

A Public Accounts Committee report has concluded that poor data in government has led to inadequate services and poor decision-making, and has recommended ways to push forward a step-change in the Government’s approach to data.

Bad week for

Independent scrutiny

Labour has pledged to scrap the education watchdog Ofsted, replacing them with regular “health checks” run by local councils.

Disadvantaged students

New data shows state school pupils from the most advantaged areas are 2.4 times more likely to go to higher education than those from the most disadvantaged areas. 

Reform’s Week

On Monday, Dr Luke Heselwood, Senior researcher at Reform, and Dr Joshua Pritchard, Senior Researcher at Reform, published the report Inclusive by Default, recommending ways to tackle digital exclusion and improve access to digital public services.

On Monday, Charlotte Pickles, Director of Reform, and Claudia Martinez, Research Manager at Reform, reacted to the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP’s announcements on social care and Universal Credit (UC).

On Tuesday, Reform held two roundtables at the Labour Party Conference. The first, with Peter Dowd MP, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, discussed a new vision for public services post-Brexit. The second, with Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, focused on digital exclusion.

On Tuesday, Imogen Farhan, Researcher at Reform, wrote a blog on why Right-to-Buy is unfair and needs to be scrapped.

On Thursday, Reform launched its new microsite dedicated to identifying better ways to spend and raise public money ahead of the 2020 Comprehensive Spending Review.

On Friday, Charlotte Pickles appeared on BBC’s Politics Live. You can watch the episode here.