Tag Archives: centre forum

Check out Centre Forum’s Atlas of Variation on Mental Health

Phrenology head - mental health - Some rights reserved by evansvilleYesterday, Paul Burstow told us about the report published by the Mental Health Commission he chaired.

A few days earlier, Centre Forum produced a detailed and significant accompanying piece of work, an Atlas of Variation showing differences in prevalence, treatment and recovery from mental health conditions across England. The research, which you can read in full here,  shows huge variations in services in different parts of the country. Have a look and see where it’s a good place to have a mental illness and where you have to suffer unnecessarily as a result of poor provision.

Its conclusion shows that despite the Government’s strategy to improve mental health treatment and services, this isn t yet being felt on the ground in many places:

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LDVideo: David Laws on the success of The Orange Book, 10 years on

On Tuesday, Centre Forum, the liberal think tank, held a one-day conference in London to mark the tenth anniversary of the publication of The Orange Book (we have already run pieces on the event by Stephen here, by Andrew Chamberlain here and by Rebecca Hanson here).

David Laws, one of the co-editors of The Orange Book (along with Paul Marshall), delivered the key-note speech on the day, a video of which has now been put online by Centre Forum. You can view it below, or here on YouTube.

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Opinion: Making allowances – 12 conclusions about the Personal Allowance policy

CentreForum today published ‘Making allowances’ – a paper all about the Lib Dems’ flagship policy of raising the income tax Personal Allowance. Here are some of my conclusions – some obvious, some more obscure – to help inform future tax cuts.

1) The costs are huge. The coalition’s Personal Allowance increases have cost £11bn, and the Lib Dems’ minimum wage tax target would cost at least the same again. With this combined total, we could (roughly) reduce VAT to 15%; scrap council tax or business rates; easily deliver quality universal childcare; or

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LibLink: Richard Reeves: The Clegg Factor

Remember Richard Reeves, Nick Clegg’s former head of strategy? He left about 18 months ago but has written a couple of pieces in recent days, one for the Guardian and another for the Centre Forum blog. In his Guardian piece, he suggests that it’s after 2020 that the Liberal Democrats will really reap the rewards of our performance in Government. His theory is that we’ll do well enough to stay in government in 2015 and by 2020 we will have killed “the presumption of  one-party government.”

At Centre Forum’s blog, he concentrates on Nick Clegg and his achievements and opportunities:

 Clegg’s

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The Independent View: I know what next month’s living wage will be and it doesn’t relate to the cost of living

On 4 November we will learn the level of the new Living Wage, which many employers have volunteered to pay as a minimum. At present it is £7.45 an hour outside London. I’m betting that next month it will rise to £7.65.* How do I know? Well, the current calculation is remarkably simple, and it has nothing to do with the cost of living. What’s more, future increases risk making proposed living wage policies unaffordable or even damaging.

Academics at Loughborough University do calculate the wage needed to fund, after tax and benefits, what members of the public consider a basic …

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Opinion: Looking forward to a post-Trident future

Amid general agreement on the thrust of Julie Smith’s Committee’s excellent paper, and gratitude that Nick Harvey and Danny Alexander have delivered unprecedented transparency on the UK’s nuclear options, next Tuesday’s debate on defence offers two sharply differing views of the future of Britain’s nuclear future.

On the one hand, there is Nick Harvey’s proposal to retain the Trident missiles, their warheads and associated infrastructure, but reducing our purchase of new Trident submarines from four to two. This means that from the early 2030s, the UK will no longer be able to mount the standing patrols of Continuous At-Sea Deterrence (CASD) …

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The Independent View: Time to bring industry into the classroom

 Too many young people leave education without the skills and understanding of industry that businesses need. The big increase in apprenticeships in recent years means that a lot more people are now experiencing vocational learning on the job.
But there is still a problem in further education colleges, where most vocational learners still get all or the majority their training. Currently only around 11% of teaching staff at these colleges also work in their chosen profession. In certain sectors such as STEM, where industry standards and practice move fast, knowledge can quickly become out of date. This leads to a gap

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The Independent View: Trident – when two into four doesn’t go

It is welcome that Danny Alexander is to publish a paper into the alternatives to a like-for-like replacement for Trident this summer. In doing so, the Liberal Democrats have made a sea-change in the transparency of British nuclear weapons policy, which for more than half-a-century has been veiled in official secrecy and occluded behind impenetrable bromides.

But the leaks surrounding the paper suggesting a “Third Way” style compromise on Trident by reducing the number of submarines to two feels hollow. The current four submarine Trident force is the minimum currently required to ensure that one is always at sea

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The Independent View: CentreForum’s three headliners for an alternative Queen’s Speech

The Queen’s Speech today looks set to be a relatively sedate affair. As Stephen Tall observes, “the Coalition is now pretty much intellectually dead” when it comes to its legislative agenda. Enthusiasm for pushing new ideas has been replaced with a business like determination to deliver what is already underway.

The content of the Queen’s Speech is nonetheless important. It will shape what happens over the course of the next parliamentary session, and will therefore influence the outcome of the General Election. If CentreForum had the privilege of writing the Speech, we would focus on three headline issues in particular: …

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The Independent View: Why reforming football is a liberal agenda

Football is moving up the political agenda. In 2010 DCMS announced an inquiry into football governance which culminated in a report in 2011, criticising the football authorities for levels of debt and supporter engagement among other things. Meanwhile, Supporters Direct, the body responsible for promoting the values of supporter engagement in the UK, has been busy lobbying parliament for a new rule in club licensing (which allows clubs to compete in the leagues) that guarantees a structured relationship between supporters and their clubs; and secondly the establishment of a Government Expert Group to explore removing barriers to increase …

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LDVideo: Stephen Tall on the Coalition at the half-way point

LibDemVoice Co-Editor Stephen Tall reflected on the state of the Coalition at its mid-way point in an event jointly hosted by CentreForum and the Institute for Government, Half-Time Oranges (and Blues): How to renew the Coalition while Preparing for the Next Election. You can watch his 10-minute verdict on where the Lib Dems are at and where we should go next here:

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LibLink: Stephen Tall – Lib Dem conference is this week’s liberal hero

Over at CentreForum’s blog, Stephen Tall has proposed the Lib Dem conference as the think-tank’s latest ‘Liberal Hero of the Week’ for its stance in opposing the Coalition’s plans for secret courts. Here’s an excerpt:

It’s not the fact that David Cameron doesn’t know the translation of ‘Magna Carta’ that worries me. It’s that he doesn’t appear to understand its central tenet:

    No free man shall be taken or imprisoned, or dispossessed or outlawed or exiled or in any way ruined, nor will we go or send against him except by the lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of

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Calling them granny taxes doesn’t mean they’re unfair

The phasing out of the additional personal allowance was decried as a ‘granny tax’ but that move did not go far enough. A new CentreForum report looks at two unjustified and deeply regressive age-related tax breaks: the tax-free lump sum and the exemption from National Insurance.

There are many lonely, vulnerable and poor pensioners who need support. But it’s insulting to suggest that everyone over 60 or 65 can be lumped into the category of frail granny (to say nothing of grandpas!). There is a huge range of incomes amongst pensioners. At the very top, the average annual pension …

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LibLink: Stephen Tall: Liberal Hero of the Week: Danny Boyle

There were tears, laughter and wide-eyed wonderment at Liberal Democrat Voice Towers on Friday night as we marvelled at Danny Boyle’s innovative Olympic opening ceremony. While some of us will remember Boyle as the guy who persuaded the Queen to “jump” out of a helicopter, our own Stephen Tall has looked a little deeper.

Over at CentreForum’s blog, he’s awarded Danny Boyle the accolade of Liberal Hero of the Week. While Labour supporting Boyle may smart at this, Stephen talks about what the Ceremony conveyed to him:

First, the human potentiality which has formed Britain, made her what she is today: from music

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LibLink: Tim Leunig – David Cameron should know better than this Housing Benefit gimmick

I wrote the other day that I wanted to see our party in general and Nick Clegg in particular come out and roundly condemn David Cameron’s ridiculous plan to stop under 25s from claiming Housing Benefit. Centre Forum director Tim Leunig did just that in an article for the Guardian on Monday.

His calm and forensic evisceration of Cameron’s argument put me in mind of the way Nick Clegg took apart the Tory Marriage Tax Break plan ahead of the 2010 election. This, of course, has been kicked into the long grass because of the Liberal Democrats. I’m also reminded of …

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LibLink: Stephen Tall names Matthew Parris ‘Liberal of the Week’ for calling for end to private schools’ charitable status

Over at CentreForum’s blog, LibDemVoice Co-Editor Stephen Tall has named columnist Matthew Parris the inaugural winner of the think-tank’s ‘Liberal of the Week’ for ‘his attack on the charitable status of private schools that are bastions of privilege.’ Here’s an excerpt from Stephen’s reasons:

The fact that private schools are directly equated with charities such as Cancer Research UK and Oxfam – and can therefore benefit from rates relief and exemption from tax on investment income – is breathtaking. It means that the low-paid in society – including those earning less than the minimum wage – are helping to subsidise through

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Opinion: A response to the Minister on Joint Strike Fighters

We can all welcome Nick Harvey’s work with Phillip Hammond in producing what appears to be the first balanced MoD budget since at least the 1997 Defence Review: time will tell if their projections hold water. However, Mr. Harvey’s article is redolent of MoD Press Office spin, and has several important elements that need debating. Moving back to the vertical take off and landing variant of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) – known as the F-35B – is hardly the panacea the Minister pretends: there were several reasons that the military warmly welcomed the switch to a conventional cats ‘n’ traps …

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Nick Clegg on the double-dip recession: “our answers are the right ones to repair the damage done”

Nick Clegg spoke this morning to the Institute of Directors, shortly after the announcement that the Office of National Statistics estimates that the economy contracted by 0.2% in the first three months of 2012 — a second quarter of shrinkage that officially means the UK is once again in recession. Here’s what he had to say:

As you may have heard, the first set of GDP figures for this year have just been released. And so, if I may, I would like to start by addressing what is disappointing news. The ONS’s preliminary estimate for Q1 GDP has

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Opinion: Time for the Party to propose the Citizen’s Income

The Centre Forum paper Taxing Decisions discusses the pros and cons of tax credits and tax allowances. The report reviews tax options for tackling the income and wealth disparities which have become a feature of British society in recent decades.

Reducing the level of inequality benefits everyone in society, rich and poor alike. I would argue that in an inclusive and more equal society, all citizens should pay tax on their income. Means tested benefits have not delivered for us. Child poverty, and unemployment are entrenched with the resulting societal breakdown. The way out of poverty is work. The best …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarStephen Hesketh 20th Sep - 10:45pm
    @David-1 20th Sep '14 - 10:21pm And the satirical points are? :-)
  • User AvatarStephen Hesketh 20th Sep - 10:40pm
    @Glenn 20th Sep '14 - 5:42pm Sorry if you think I have twisted what you said. The view of the majority outside London is that...
  • User AvatarDavid-1 20th Sep - 10:21pm
    @JohnTilley: Many a solid constitutional proposal has begun its life as satire.
  • User AvatarJohnTilley 20th Sep - 10:04pm
    All this fuss about some elected MPs having votes on things that are nothing to do with their constituency. It diverts attention away from hundreds...
  • User Avatarpaul barker 20th Sep - 9:51pm
    @ Caracatus. Fair point looking at the list. Isnt it possible though that a lot of Parties have in effect already decided to carry on...
  • User AvatarDavid-1 20th Sep - 9:45pm
    One might as well ask why the Member for Witney should have any authority over any area larger than Witney. (This is not necessarily a...