Tag Archives: ippr

Time for Nick Clegg to ditch the “Great Britain not Little England” line

england-flag“Great Britain not little England” – it was a line Nick Clegg used in his recent Spring conference speech, setting up the new political dividing lines between those who are optimistic, outward-looking, progressive pro-Europeans and those who are gloomy, isolationst, reactionary anti-Europeans.

It’s a line he used again in this week’s Nick v Nigel debate. “Great Britain, not Little England” was the subject line, too, of the party’s immediate post-debate email to supporters.

Clearly it’s a line the party believes encapsulates the main fault-line in British politics right now. …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 36 Comments

The Independent View: Is the Coalition is doing enough to help Britain’s couple families?

The Chancellor looks set to announce a new tax break for married couples in next month’s Autumn Statement, while universal credit continues its slow and increasingly painful roll out. Both are heralded by the Coalition as flagship policies to support families by raising incomes, helping more parents into work and promoting stable family life. In practice, neither will provide the help that Britain’s couple families need to cope with the growing pressures of time and money that push too many into poverty and put enormous strain on relationships.

A tax break for married couples has long been a core demand of …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged | 7 Comments

The Independent View: Early years reform – should Clegg take another stand?

childcareWith a childcare announcement expected imminently, early years is shaping up to be both a key battleground for the next election and a major coalition split. All agree on wanting to bring down prices for parents, while driving the quality and accessibility of childcare. So far so good. But since More Great Childcare was published at the start of the year, proposals have courted criticism, with experts questioning whether this reform package would actually jeopardise quality and push up costs.

In a high profile move last month, Nick Clegg stepped in …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged | 2 Comments

The Independent View: Clegg should champion ‘everyday integration’

Nick Clegg’s speech later today will remind us of how crucial an effective immigration policy is to Britain. One of the areas that has been the least developed by previous governments, as well as the Coalition government, is a clear integration policy. Far too often, integration policy has focused on the symbolic notions of identity and much less on the everyday experiences of individuals that might be able to capture better experiences of integration.

Although the UK’s experience of integration is generally positive, outcomes for different groups and in different places across the country are still very mixed. A new …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged | 3 Comments

What would a liberal, progressive migration policy for the UK look like?

As the next election begins to loom into view, the issue of immigration continues to pose a challenge for liberal progressives of all political persuasions. A new report published today by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) makes a rich and valuable contribution to this essential debate on the future of British migration policy.

There are few politicians who would disagree with the report’s urgent call to “actively engage with the issue of migration – and the reality of people’s views on it”. The extent to which the political ‘elite’ have avoided talking about immigration has been exaggerated …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged | 16 Comments

Independent View: two cheers for Vince

Landlords and punters across the country should be raising a glass to Vince Cable today after he announced new rules for pub companies (or pubcos) which will help local publicans in these difficult economic times.

His plans include the introduction of an independent adjudicator and a new statutory code for the industry – something I argued for in this IPPR report: Tied Down.

Pubs are an important part of the community – they’re a meeting place for family and friends and host meetings of local clubs and associations, promoting local charities and events. But they’ve faced serious demise with 16 pubs …

Posted in News and The Independent View | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

Independent View: What now for housing policy?

As the coalition approaches the halfway point of the Parliament, Liberal Democrats are in search of policies that demonstrate their distinctive contribution to government – especially on the crucial issue of growth. Pre-conference briefing suggests that leading party figures see affordable house building as a leading option. They are right to do so. It would boost demand, create jobs, and meet a pressing social need. The Tories are focused on reforming the planning system, but evidence suggests this is a tough political sell. Efforts to finance house building through clever Treasury wheezes that try to circumvent borrowing constraints have …

Posted in News and The Independent View | Also tagged | 3 Comments

Independent View: Housing Benefit reform needs liberal principle of localism

The Prime Minister’s recent suggestion that young people under the age of 25 might be barred from receiving Housing Benefit has re-ignited the debate about welfare reform. Talk of a further ‘benefits crackdown’ duly generated the positive headlines that Downing Street strategists were after, while opponents howled in apocalyptic objection to this latest attempt to control the benefits bill. Pretty soon, the political debate moved on, everyone having fulfilled their roles to perfection. Evil Tory bogeymen, tabloid headline writers, charity campaigners all did exactly what we would have expected them to do. Maybe the specific proposal will remerge in future …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Housing: the IPPR’s answer

Over the last week I’ve highlighted how the Britain’s love of home ownership is not based on any evidence that high home ownership brings economic success (if anything, the opposite is true), that the proportion of people living in private rented accommodation is on a long-term rise and that changes in property prices in Britain are widening rather than narrowing the huge geographic imbalances. Add to all that the increasing importance that Vince Cable and Nick Clegg, in particular, are giving to the housing market for boosting economic growth, and it is a sector clearly in need of action.

But what action?

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 2 Comments

The True Cost of Energy: why Ed Davey must act

A poll out yesterday showed that action to address high energy bills is now the top priority for voters, so Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has a political interest in new research on the True Cost of Energy published by IPPR. The report argues that competition in the energy market is not working and that some consumers are paying higher prices as a result.

IPPR has analysed how much it costs energy companies to supply electricity and gas to UK consumers, finding strong evidence that competition in the market is not in good health.

The UK energy market …

Posted in News and The Independent View | Also tagged and | 9 Comments

Labour leaning think-tank IPPR backs Osborne on ‘granny tax’

George Osborne has received support from an unexpected source: the Labour leaning think tank, the IPPR.

In an article entitled “Why Osborne’s ‘granny tax’ makes sense“, Senior Research Fellow at the IPPR, Kayte Lawton says:

It is right for older people to contribute to deficit reduction…

Older people have been relatively protected from the spending cuts imposed by the coalition. The young have taken the brunt of the pain… Asking older people to contribute to tackling the deficit and shoring up the country’s tax base in the long-term is not unreasonable…

Osborne’s pleas of simplification have not played well, but he is right that age-related allowances add

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 22 Comments

IPPR: making the Third Wave of Globalisation work for us all

A new report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), headed by a foreword by Lord Peter Mandleson, takes an in-depth look at the positive and negative impacts of the increased internationalisation of trade – what they characterise as the Third Wave of Globalisation.

IPPR’s Will Straw and Alex Glennie set out how the modern increase in global commerce is distinct from those seen around the Industrial Revolution and World War II that were dominated by the UK and the USA respectively. Today’s growth in global trade is lead by developing economies in the East with a …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

Labour’s stance on high pay leaves the ball firmly in Vince Cable’s court

The appearance of cross-party consensus in politics usually makes me welcoming and wary in equal measure – welcoming as it signals a weakening of the fierce discord between political tribes, wary because the sheen of consensus often betrays a deep underlying suspicion of the ability of any party to take on the challenges they face.

Excessive remuneration appears to be the latest issue on which the three main parties appear to agree – it apparently unites the hitherto unlikely trio of Vince Cable, Ed Miliband and, latterly it seems, David Cameron around the recognition that extremes of …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments

Opinion: Will fixing the planning system improve the housing supply?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Britain has a housing problem. There are problems of shortage and, consequently, access and affordability.

There are three principal mechanisms for dealing with significant housing shortage and indirectly reducing the affordability problems that go with it: (1) You can reduce the number of households needing to be housed; (2) You can increase the number of properties available; and (3) You can improve the utilization of the existing stock of properties.

You can try to do something on all three fronts. A couple of weeks ago LibDemVoice co-editor Mark Pack identified six …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 14 Comments

Housing: six things that could be done

As Tim Leunig pointed out last week, housing plays an important role in most people’s concept of social mobility, a point highlighted in Stephen Gilbert’s piece over the summer recounting his own personal circumstances:

Last year I was probably the only MP to be elected while still living with my parents. Of course, I’d moved out of home and, like many others, had to move back again. It’s a symptom of the fact that housing policy in the UK is in crisis. We have millions of people languishing on social housing waiting lists, first-time-buyers priced out of the market

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 14 Comments

Opinion: Dr. Balls makes the right diagnosis, offers the same old failed prescriptions

Leading commentators on the political economy must have been flattered to hear many of their principles and policies given lip service by Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls this week in his speech to the Labour party conference. Flattered only to be deceived, sadly, as lip service is all he paid; underneath the rhetorical support for a reformed political economy promoted by the likes of Will Hutton, the Institute for Public Policy Research, Ha-Joon Chang and others, Balls’ prescription for the UK economy amounts to little more than tinkering with the same old policy levers that haven’t worked in the past.

Mr. …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments

The Independent View: Vince needs to consider his legacy

Plan A is looking shakier than ever. After a slow climb out of recession, growth is now stalling and unemployment rising again, the approach taken thus far – cutting the deficit, and waiting for a spontaneous boom in the private sector – feels ever more risky, both politically and for our pockets. Vince Cable, who has always looked uneasy with a “plan for growth” that involves little except sitting back with fingers crossed, must feel increasingly unnerved.

And he’s right to be worried. His credibility is on the line and his legacy at BIS is yet to be secured. Now is …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , , , , , and | 21 Comments

The Independent View: Public support action on excessive pay gap

The clamour for action on excessive pay is growing, not least from some of our biggest business names. Sir Stuart Rose, of Marks and Spencer, recently suggested that the gap between CEO pay and the wages of ordinary workers might have got out of control, while the newly appointed President of the CBI, Sir Roger Carr, this week described ‘rewards for failure’ as “unforgivable”.

Yet the idea that very high salaries can be justified as long as they are deserved is called into question by research from the High Pay Commission, which found that executive pay has grown by 7 per cent a year in real terms over the last 10 years, compared to annual average real growth of just 0.8 per cent between 1949 and 1979. Researchers can find no evidence that UK firms have done better over the last 10 years than in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Nor is there any evidence that senior executives are significantly more mobile than ordinary workers or modern firms more complex to run, as many supporters of the rapid increase in top pay argue.

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Nick Clegg: “AV gives people more power, more choice”

Yesterday morning, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg delivered a speech at the Institute for Public Policy Research think tank on political reform, particularly on the need to change the UK’s voting system as part of the ‘new politics’. The speech was trailed on the Voice here.

You can read the text of Nick’s speech below. (We also linked to Nick’s Telegraph piece yesterday here.)

Liberals have been champions of political reform since the formation of our party more than a century and a half ago.
House of Lords reform, party funding, devolution – and of course, reform of the voting

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 15 Comments

Go and see Nick Clegg’s electoral reform speech tomorrow morning

Tis the day for tickets for events in London it would seem, as the IPPR have been in touch about a few spaces left for tomorrow’s speech on electoral reform from Nick Clegg:

The Shape of the New Politics
Keynote speech by Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats

Thursday 21 April 2011, (9.45am for) 10 – 11am
ippr offices, 14 Buckingham St, 4th Floor, London, WC2N 6DF

Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg MP, will give a keynote speech at ippr outlining the case for the Alternative Vote as part …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

Switch to AV would not boost BNP

The British National Party has featured surprisingly prominently in the AV campaign so far, since their introduction into the debate by the NO campaign. The BNP are, of course, firmly positioned in the NO camp, not least because they know that they wouldn’t have a hope of winning a Parliamentary election under the system – as their deputy chairman Simon Darby acknowledged to Channel 4′s FactCheck team yesterday.

This comes on the back of a report by the IPPR think tank which analysed the claim of the NO campaign that under AV, second preferences of BNP voters would be decisive …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 13 Comments

What the think tanks are saying: The IPPR on “How much is Labour to blame?”

(On 14 January 2011, the IPPR published a paper by Tony Dolphin, Senior Economist and Associate Director for Economic Policy at the IPPR entitled Debts and Deficits: How much is Labour to blame?)

Tony Dolphin makes a key point in his paper, that Labour did not seem to realise how much it was relying on revenues from sources associated with rampant lending, such as the City and the housing market.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t develop this point.

Using the Treasury figures for the budget deficit, between 2007 and 2009, the deficit leapt from £37bn to £123bn. These figures are cyclically adjusted, …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 26 Comments

The Independent View: The UK voting system is broken

One of the key arguments made by defenders of First Past the Post is that it produces clear outcomes on which strong and stable government is based. New analysis published today by the ippr (Worst of Both worlds: Why First Past the Post no longer works) shows why this claim no longer stacks up. It shows that the last general election result was not an aberration but a reflection of long-term changes in voting patterns across the UK which significantly increase the likelihood of more hung parliaments in the future.

Britain has evolved into a multi-party system, but it still has an electoral …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Baroness Kate Parminter’s maiden speech

In recent weeks, LDV has been bringing its readers copies of our new MPs’ first words in the House of Commons, so that we can read what is being said and respond. You can find all of the speeches in this category with this link. Today’s guest editor Mark Valladares feels that it was only right that the same honour should be offered to new Peers, and today we bring you the words of Baroness Parminter of Godalming.

Baroness Parminter: I add my thanks to the noble Baroness, Lady Verma, for initiating this debate today. As a new girl, …

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , and | 3 Comments

Nick Clegg on winning people over for deficit reduction

Nick Clegg addressed the ippr this morning to set out his approach to the single biggest problem facing all three major political parties in the coming weeks and months: how to keep the support of the British people given the need for huge public spending cuts to tackle the deficit.

We’re re-printing Nick’s speech in full, below, but here are the key points which struck me:

  • Re-iterating Vince Cable’s five conditions to take account of before cutting public spending: the rate of growth; the level of unemployment; credit conditions; the extent of spare capacity in the economy and the cost of Government borrowing.
  • A clear statement “that the conditions will be right for cuts from 2011-12, but not before.”
  • A clear statement of the level of cuts needed: “at some point in the next eight years the government is going to have to stop spending as much as 10% of what it spends today.”
  • A promise that the Lib Dems will follow the example of Canada’s Liberal Government in the 1990s and undertake “a massive consultation about every last line of public spending”.
  • A cash limit on public sector pay rises of £400, ensuring that the lower your salary, the higher percentage pay rise you are eligible for.
  • In addition, Nick sets out once again the party’s four key election campaign pledges: fair taxes, the £2.5bn ‘pupil premium’, a sustainable economy, and a fair political system.

The sharp eyed will notice no mention of “progressive austerity“. Nor indeed does Nick use the term “savage cuts” – though for all the embarrassment and mockery with which that phrase is identified, it’s the reality of what all the parties would have to implement in their own ways if elected to government.

Here’s what Nick said:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

#ldconf podcast: IPPR fringe

We were taping ippr‘s fringe with our own Editor at Large Stephen Tall along with some relative political unknowns – Shirley Williams, Menzies Campbell and Charles Clarke.

The ippr did say they were recording the event themselves, and their recording is probably better than ours, but I can’t immediately find it on their website.

Play
Posted in Conference and Podcasts | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 1 Comment

So, what do we make of #ldconf so far, then?

I’ve just come from speaking at the ippr fringe event, The end of politics as we know it?, alongside Ming Campbell, Shirley Williams and Charles Clarke.

In my introductory remarks, I looked at the two big crises of the last 12 months – the economic crisis of recession, and the political crisis of MPs’ expenses scandals – and their impact on the Lib Dems, with special reference to this week’s conference. I approached the topic as (I hope) a constructively critical friend; harsh but fair was the reaction I was (I guess) looking for. Here’s more or less what I said – see if you think I got the balance right …

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 6 Comments

ippr fringe event: The end of politics as we know it? #ldconf

Over the last few days I’ve been uploading the results from Lib Dem Voice’s members’ survey, completed by c.250 party members – you can catch up on the results published to date by clicking here.

The survey was conducted in association with the Institute of Public Policy Research (ippr) in advance of today’s lunchtime fringe, The end of politics as we know it?. Full details here:

Liberal Democrats Conference: The end of politics as we know it?
22 September 2009 -

13.00-14.00
Dorchester One room, Marriott Highcliff Hotel

Posted in Conference and LDV Members poll | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

The Independent View: the ippr on ‘The future of politics itself’ #ldconf

I’m Carey Oppenheim and I’m Co-Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr), the UK’s leading progressive think tank. If you have been to the Liberal Democrat conference before you may have been to one of our events.

The debate dominating the conferences this year is the future of politics itself – ippr is hosting a key event at each of the three main conferences where leading figures will discuss how to renew trust in politics and the crucial issues facing us in the coming general election.

To open up the debate, ippr and Lib Dem Voice are asking party …

Posted in LDV Members poll, Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged | 6 Comments

NEW: pre-conference ’09 LDV members’ survey #ldconf

In the lead-up to this year’s Lib Dem autumn conference in Bouremouth, Lib Dem Voice is conducting a survey of our Forum for party members on the recent political and economic crises – asking about what you think, and also your perception of how the party has dealt with them.

The survey has been designed jointly with the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr), to tie-in with a conference fringe event on the theme, ‘The end of politics as we know it?‘, (1pm, Tue 22 Sept) with a panel comprising Ming Campbell, Shirley Williams, Charles Clarke and, erm, …

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged | 3 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRichard Dean 24th Apr - 6:41pm
    My first impression was of some kind of immigration plan, possibly bordering on the German one in the 1930's and early 1940's or the Powellite...
  • User AvatarCaracatus 24th Apr - 6:35pm
    Thank you Jeremy - it is very refreshing to have a MP actually come back and respond to comments on an article they have written....
  • User AvatarAmalric 24th Apr - 6:35pm
    This is an interesting idea but I hadn’t really thought of the Liberal government of 1906-1915 as one working under the banner of national efficiency...
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 24th Apr - 6:33pm
    I would have thought that "efficiency" cannot possibly be acceptable as a primary LibDem goal. Nor even a secondary one. It's just too reminiscent of...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 24th Apr - 6:29pm
    “I haven’t read the book but…” I'll plead guilty in advance to entering the debate on that basis. What I have read is the title....
  • User AvatarWill Mann 24th Apr - 6:27pm
    @Sal Brinton I appreciate there are some high-minded principles involved - but to the outside world, and particularly the women in the outside world, the...