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Press Releases from 2010

Springtime For German Small Business Loans While British Smes Stay Trapped In Credit Freeze

22 December 2010

Britain should learn from local "savings and enterprise" banks in Germany and Switzerland The German and Swiss economies are powering ahead of the rest of Europe through superior lending to small and medium sized businesses, according to a new report from independent think tank Civitas. German savings banks and Swiss cantonal banks, lessons for the UK by Stephen L. Clarke, Research Fellow at Civitas, argues that the UK system suffers from a lack of competition…

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Mismanaged Nhs Reform Could Flatline Patient Services

14 December 2010

PCT 'meltdown' threatens a return to rationing The wholesale abolition of Primary Care Trusts proposed in the NHS White Paper could have a negative impact on patient care, and should be halted in favour of a more incremental approach to commissioning reform, according to a new report released today by independent think-tank Civitas. A risky business: the White Paper and the NHS by James Gubb, director of the Civitas health unit, argues that the…

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World Calling Ken Clarke: Prison Reduces Crime Here Too!

7 December 2010

Kenneth Clarke, Secretary of State for Justice, has been claiming that crime fell in all developed countries in the 1990s and that it was not the result of increasing the prison population in the UK or elsewhere. Most recently he repeated the claim on Newsnight on Tuesday 30th November. When former Chief Constable, Tim Brain, argued that crime fell as a consequence of doubling the prison population from the mid-1990s onwards, Ken Clarke replied…

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Where Did All the Noisy Children Go?

12 November 2010

Disruptive pupils disappearing into new 'secret garden' of alternative provision Widely trumpeted reductions in exclusions from schools are mostly a statistical illusion, according to a new report by independent think tank Civitas. A New Secret Garden?, by Tom Ogg with Emily Kaill, finds that thousands of pupils, many with behavioural difficulties, are shifted to alternative providers and FE colleges. These 'managed moves' and 'referrals' do not show up in official exclusion statistics, even though they…

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Small Is Not Always Beautiful

28 October 2010

Move to smaller commissioning organisations in the NHS may hurt patients The Coalition Government’s proposals to transform commissioning in the NHS flies in the face of international evidence, according to a new report by independent think tank Civitas in conjunction with the Manchester Business School. The Government intends to replace 152 Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) with ‘consortia’ of general practice, which is likely to lead to a proliferation of much smaller commissioning organisations. In…

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Green Investment Bank Could Undermine Economic Growth

23 October 2010

With the spending review over, the Government needs to focus on economic growth, but already it has taken a false step. The Government's proposed Green Investment Bank (GIB), which is intended to fund low carbon enterprises and pollution reducing investments, is too restricted and as a result will reduce economic growth, says independent think tank Civitas. Instead, a broader Industry Bank should be set up to meet the needs of all British manufacturers, not…

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The Fallacies, Errors and Confusions In the Equality and Human Rights Commission Report, How Fair Is Britain?

17 October 2010

In a report for Civitas, Professor Peter Saunders, the author of Social Mobility Myths, has challenged the fallacies in the report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). Two Core EHRC Assumptions - Both False The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published its first triennial report on Britain's 'progress' towards becoming a 'fairer' society. The report commends the 'progress' we have made in tolerating diversity and endorsing equality, but warns: 'Outcomes for many…

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Women and Islam

16 October 2010

Wearing the veil is a civil right? British tolerance means recognising freedom of religious expression, say Muslim women Head and face coverings should be judged on practicality, not ideology, it is argued inWomen, Islam and Western Liberalism, a new report from independent think tank Civitas.     The report presents unmediated views from leading British Muslim women on a wide range of issues that affect them, but about which their opinions are often sidelined. Their…

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Self-Serving Nhs Trusts Inhibit Better Patient Care

4 October 2010

Closed-shop 'NHS family' freezes out other healthcare options to leave patients waiting Patients are being denied potentially better, more timely treatment because of an NHS culture that demands loyalty to the family of NHS hospital providers, according to a new report.Refusing Treatment, by independent think tank Civitas - based on a one-year study into the relationships between acute trusts and their commissioners - concludes that existing NHS providers use their muscle and connections to…

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Police Vetting Decimates 'Big Society'

27 September 2010

Police vetting a 'disproportionate interference' that doesn't make children safer With the imminent results of the Coalition Government's major review of the Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS), which regulates contact between adults and any child not their own, independent think tank Civitas releases a new edition of Licensed to Hug, which insists the Government must get rid of the VBS once and for all. The dramatic escalation of child protection measures, such as…

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Iain Duncan Smith's Plans to 'Make Work Pay' Could Be a Costly Failure

21 September 2010

The proposals in '21st Century Welfare' are the product of two inconsistent philosophical perspectives: one that stresses 'welfare rights' and another that focuses on 'mutual obligation'. As a result, the proposals are unlikely to achieve the significant reduction in welfare dependency that is hoped for. Moreover, there is a strong risk of repeating the mistakes of American welfare reforms before the mid-1990s. The main thrust of the DWP's report is to 'make work…

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Report Exposes Hidden Costs of Community Sentences Over Custody

28 August 2010

Another Coalition policy is beginning to unravel, as independent commentators look more closely at the details. The internationally respected former Home Office criminologist, Professor Ken Pease, has shown that it will not be feasible to save money by releasing convicted prisoners from jail. According to Prison, Community Sentencing and Crime, not only does the available evidence suggest that offending will not be reduced, the Government's hope of cutting expenditure on prisons can only be…

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Practically Irrelevant: 'Vocational' Qualifications In Schools Not Fit For Purpose

24 August 2010

Third-rate courses wrongly presented as 'vocational', must go Beneath the continuing rise in GCSE results lies a troubling truth about what is happening in schools. Forming part of the forthcoming publication, Unqualified Success: Investigating the state of vocational training in the UK, research from independent think tank Civitas finds that: Students are being led away from basic academic subjects to learn how to serve drinks in Hospitality BTEC Firsts and to identify airport facilities…

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Policy Briefing

18 August 2010

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg made a major speech today in which he identified 'promoting social mobility' as 'at the top of our social agenda'. Tony Blair made a similar commitment in 1997, just as John Major did in 1992. It is something modern leaders feel compelled to talk about. But Clegg brought a fresh take to it by emphasising the importance of parenting. Coupled with the Coalition's initiatives on tax reform and early…

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Crime Briefing

3 August 2010

Latest International Comparison of Crime in OECD Countries The UN affiliated European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control has recently published the most up-to-date international comparison of crime statistics. The figures are based on the UN Survey of Crime Trends (UN-CTS). In the past the UN only published comparisons for Europe and North America, but the latest report uses police-recorded crime for 2006 for many additional countries. However, because there are…

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Blasphemy Is Back!

19 July 2010

'Hate' legislation threatens freedom of speech Hate legislation removes an increasing quantity of matters traditionally dealt with in civil society to the domain of the state and the courts. In a new report from the independent think tank Civitas, A New Inquisition: religious persecution in Britain today, Jon Gower Davies, formerly the Head of Religious Studies at Newcastle University, reveals the bizarre and oppressive nature of judicial attempts to prosecute individuals for 'religious hatred' - this…

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Climate Change Policies Risk Major Damage to the Economic Recovery

12 July 2010

A preoccupation with 'green' energy policies at any cost undermines the competitiveness of manufacturing industry A newly published report from the independent think tank Civitas reveals that the increased costs of energy arising from 'green' energy policies are set to increase significantly. Increased costs will hurt manufacturing at a time when much depends on the sector to generate the economic growth the country needs, and to rebalance the economy. In British Energy Policy And The…

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Commentary on NHS White Paper

12 July 2010

The coalition government today released its White Paper on the NHS. James Gubb, director of the health unit at independent social policy think-tank Civitas said: 'The Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, should be congratulated on moves to introduce greater competition in the NHS by granting extra freedoms to foundation trusts, expanding choice for patients and supporting a genuine 'social market' through the introduction of meaningful competition law. Recent evidence on the impact…

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Lansley's Plans Could Set the NHS Back Three Years

10 July 2010

Moves to transfer commissioning responsibility to GPs could cost the NHS its £20 billion efficiency savings target, and worse The coalition government's White Paper on the NHS is due to be published next week. It is widely expected to outline plans to hand control of as much as £80 billion of resources in the NHS from Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) to consortia of GPs. Analysis by the independent think tank Civitas suggests such moves…

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The Potential Consequences of Kenneth Clarke's Crime Policy

30 June 2010

If Home Secretaries are judged by the amount of crime during their time in office then Kenneth Clarke must rank as the worst Home Secretary ever. He held the office from April 1992 to May 1993 when crime was higher than it had ever been before and has ever been since. It started to fall only when Clarke's policies were reversed by Michael Howard. As Justice Secretary he now runs prisons, and from his…

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Britain Is Socially Mobile

1 June 2010

New report slams 'social mobility myths' Politicians from all parties say they are committed to the ideal of a 'meritocratic' society - they all want talented and hard-working people to succeed in life, irrespective of their social background. However, a new report from the independent think tank Civitas argues that many politicians are badly informed about the facts of social mobility in modern Britain. And because they don't know the facts, they support policies…

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PCT Funding Formula 'Adjusted' to the Tune of £10 Billion

29 April 2010

Extracting the truth about funding for health inequality England is now in its 16th year of using an unscientific formula for funding NHS primary care trusts (PCTs). In a new report from Civitas, Formulas at war over two sorts of inequality in health funding, Mervyn Stone, Emeritus Professor of Statistics at University College London, examines the evidence presented by expert witnesses at a hearing of the Rural Services All-Party Parliamentary Group in February 2010…

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Governments Can, Do and Should 'Pick Winners'

12 April 2010

To grow our way back to prosperity we need an effective industrial policy Governments are in competition with each other for the location of industry. A Government that fails to create attractive conditions is committing economic suicide. Yet, according toProsperity With Principles, just published by the independent think-tank Civitas, at a time when we need economic growth more than at any point since the war, policy makers in all parties are still paralysed by…

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Climate-Change Policies Threatening British Jobs

9 April 2010

The Government's preoccupation with 'green' energy policies sabotages the competitiveness of manufacturing industry A new report from the independent think tank Civitas reveals that the increased costs of energy arising from the Government's 'green' energy policies are set to increase significantly. In British Energy Policy And The Threat To Manufacturing Industry, Ruth Lea and Jeremy Nicholson examine the impact of Government policy on energy prices. They argue that the Government's aim to…

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Balance of Payments Deficit Could Unravel Budget Calculations

27 March 2010

5% hole in the UK current account predicted A new report from the independent think tank Civitas predicts a further deterioration of the UK current account balance. The UK deficit is likely to more than double from the 2009 rate of 2% of GDP to almost 5% in 2020. A current account deficit of that size would make untenable the plans of all political parties to reduce our huge national debt. In Prospects for the…

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Nhs Market Failing to Deliver Widespread Benefits Shows Comprehensive Review of Evidence

1 March 2010

Lose-lose situation as market forces and central control jostle to be main lever of reform As the debate over the future of a market in the NHS intensifies, the independent think tank Civitas releases the first comprehensive review of the evidence since the most recent policy overhaul in 2002. It illustrates that market forces have contributed to: Improved access for patients Reduced waiting times Increased efficiency and improved financial management in providers However, benefits…

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Putting the UK Back In Business

12 February 2010

A new Civitas report, Corporation tax: Beating the Competition, argues that the UK's current tax burden is jeopardising business and undermining our ability to escape from recession. UNLIKE THE REST OF THE WORLD, THE UK HAS RAISED, RATHER THAN REDUCED ITS BURDEN ON BUSINESS. Supporting business is crucial to the UK's recovery from the current recession. Only businesses can provide the jobs, incomes and profits that allow taxes to be collected to pay…

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Bma Campaign to Shut Out Independent Sector from Nhs Is Misguided and Foolhardy

12 February 2010

The BMA today extend their 'Look After Our NHS' campaign, to stop commercially run firms providing NHS care and end the market in the NHS, to patients. Leaflets will be distributed containing stories such as a 70-year-old lady who is forced to go to a treatment centre run by a private provider and suffers 'complications'. The BMA is politicising health care on cherry-picked evidence. The BMA states: ON BUREAUCRACY The creation of…

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The National Curriculum Should Guarantee a Liberal Education For All Claims Think-Tank

4 January 2010

REPLACING SUBJECTS WITH THEMES IS 'REACTIONARY AND ANTI-PROGRESSIVE' The political controversies that rage around the school curriculum could be resolved if we re-committed ourselves to the ideal that dominated educational theory for over a century and a half: the provision of a liberal education for all. FALLING SOCIAL MOBILITY HAS BEEN THE RESULT OF WATERING DOWN THE CURRICULUM The 'old left' was right after all. Experience has shown that the most effective way…

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On Industrial Policy Political Parties Should Turn Back to Thatcher

4 January 2010

Time for Turning? Political parties needn't reinvent the wheel - on industrial policy they should turn back to Thatcher Today's political leaders have a strong inclination to resist 'interfering' in the economy, but in the latest Civitas Review, David Merlin-Jones argues that whoever wins the next election, 'would do well to follow in the footsteps of their Thatcherite predecessors and get involved in industry'. ('Time for Turning' p.1) Thatcherite industrial policy - not…

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