Daily Telegraph, Oct. 23rd 2009, p. 16-17
Conservatives are examining the example of Canada, which eliminated a huge deficit in the public finances in three years in the 1990s through ruthless cuts in government spending. There were extensive cutbacks in spending on health, education, and unemployment benefits. Industrial and agricultural subsidies were slashed and transport spending was cut by half. The Conservatives have also been impressed by Sweden's system of free schools. Any group of parents, teachers, companies or charities can set up a school. Parents are given a voucher to pay for their child's education which they can cash at any state or free school.
Labour Research, Oct. 2009, p. 13-16
The voluntary sector is facing a fall in income due to the recession and its workforce is contracting. Remaining staff are facing increased workloads and pay freezes or cuts. This is impacting on the sector's ability to provide services to some of the most vulnerable groups in society. Unions wish to see more creative thought going into maintaining employment.
Community Care, Sept. 24th 2009, p. 16-17
Social enterprises have their origins in the nineteenth century co-operative movement, but their potential for innovative public service delivery has been recognised by the New Labour government. Their ethos fits well with that of modern social care, and they may offer staff more pleasant working conditions than statutory bureaucracies or the private sector.
Public Finance, Sept. 25th-Oct. 1st 2009, p. 20-23
Argues that the New Labour government significantly improved the public services including health and education. It delivered improved literacy levels, reduced waiting times for NHS treatment, better hospitals and lower crime. However the public is not grateful and is still dissatisfied with services. The author attributes this to:
R. Winnett and A. Porter
Daily Telegraph, Oct. 2nd 2009, p.1 + 2; 6
In advance of their 2009 Party Conference, the Conservatives have suggested that, if they win the 2010 general election:
A. Porter and R. Winnett
Daily Telegraph, Oct. 7th 2009, p. 1+ 4
The shadow chancellor, George Osborne, has promised massive cuts in public spending if the Conservatives win the 2010 general election. From a welfare reform point of view, they would:
Public Finance, Oct. 9th-15th 2009, p. 20-23
A combination of the economic crisis, population ageing, and energy and environmental issues are putting huge pressure on government finances. Radical reform of public service provision is required and a return to 'business as usual' is not an option. The author discusses a range of alternatives, including hypothecated taxes such as an NHS tax, reducing staff costs, and withdrawing services which the state can no longer afford. He recommends devolving responsibility for public service provision to local authorities with incentives to encourage efficiency and innovation at the local level..