General Reports and Other Publications

TUCThe falling share of economic output going towards the wages of ordinary workers has left average earners £7,000 a year worse off, according to a TUC report The Great Wages Grab published last week.
Press release & links
 
Socitm: Socitm's summary of ICT benchmarking results for 2011, now available from their website, shows that local authority ICT functions are responding well to conditions of severe austerityMaking do with less: summary of benchmarking results for 2011 says that despite a tough year, ICT functions maintained user satisfaction above Socitm's target benchmark.  However, the tension between growing demand for ICT services and reduced resources has led to declining satisfaction on almost every front.
Press release & links
 
RUSI: The Taliban led by Mullah Mohammad Omar are open to a general ceasefire and/or political agreement which could lead to a US military presence in Afghanistan after 2014, but will not negotiate with President Karzai or his administration, which is seen as corrupt & weak, according to a new Briefing Paper (Taliban Perspectives on Reconciliation) published by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).
Press release & links
 
NOBirmingham City Council delayed for over 2 years in providing for a disabled man’s assessed needs, finds Local Government Ombudsman, Anne Seex, which meant he did not get the services he should have had, and which the Council had a statutory duty to provide.
 
The Ombudsman is pleased that the Council has agreed to her recommendations and paid the man £52,513, being the value of the payments & services he should have received, as well as paying £500 to his mother & sister in recognition of their efforts in trying to get adequate services provided.
Press release ~ Report 11 009 273 Birmingham City C
 
PC&PE: The Commons Public Accounts Committee has published its 5th Report of Session 2012-13, 'The Regional Growth Fund'. The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the CPA, said: "Given the dire state of the economy, it is nothing short of scandalous that so few projects funded by the Regional Growth Fund have actually got off the ground. Some two years into the programme, of the £1.4bn allocated only £60m had reached front-line projects.
 
The rest of the £470m spent so far had been parked in intermediary bodies, over which the departments have limited control.  It is unclear what is being done to make sure that money is not wasted but spent on creating real jobs”.
Press release & links ~ CBI response to Regional Growth report
 
OFT: The Office of Fair Trading has published a report which explores the competition implications arising from price relationship agreements such as 'price match' or 'lowest price' guarantees. The report, prepared for the OFT by LEAR, examines the various forms these agreements can take, their potential benefits and anti-competitive effects, drawing on economic literature and relevant case law.
Press release & links
 
ScotGov: Finance Secretary, John Swinney, will ‘deliver a Budget that maximises opportunities for economic growth this week and this will include measures to increase support to Scotland’s construction industry’. The Cabinet Secretary is seeking more opportunities for accelerating growth through the Budget - this coincides with the publication of a new report which demonstrates the range of activities across the 6 strands of the Government Economic Strategy (GES), which are helping the economic recovery & building the foundations for long-term sustainable economic growth.
Press release & links ~ Supporting Recovery & Delivering Sustainable Growth - GES Progress Report
 
TUCAusterity and the poor state of the economy has created a tough climate for union negotiators, according to the TUC Equality Audit published last week. The 2012 Equality Audit, drawn from the responses of 36 unions that represent over 97% of the TUC membership, shows that despite the tougher climate unions were still able to secure better rights for workers on a range of equality issues.
Press release ~ 2012 Equality Audit ~ Previous audits
 
IPPR: Government talk of deregulating to make ‘hiring & firing’ easier for small businesses will not get the economy growing again and will not tackle long-term unemployment, according to the think tank IPPR in its report - A path back to growth. The new unemployment figures were published last week and show little change since last month.
 
The latest figures showed long-term unemployment, the number of people out of work for more than a year, was still rising, to 882,000.  IPPR recommends the Government provides a job guarantee for everyone out of work for more than a year.
Press release & links
 
ScotGov: Health Secretary, Alex Neil, has commented on Alcohol Focus Scotland’s findings of a study into the cost of alcohol related harm.
Press release & links
 
PX: The majority of people, including public sector workers, think that the best way to improve poor public services is to bring in businesses & charities to take them over.  New research by think tank Policy Exchange shows that 60% of people – including a majority (53%) of public sector workers - think that if a service like a school, GP surgery or NHS dentist is providing a poor service, then the government should allow businesses or charities to take them over or open new alternatives.
Press release ~ Do the Public Back More Reform of Public Services? An overview of the latest opinion research
 
DH: A report published last week has set out recommendations on which health services treating rare & uncommon conditions should be nationally commissioned from April 2013.
 
Although Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will be responsible for buying & planning the majority of health services from April 2013, specialised services need to be organised differently and commissioned on a wider scale.
Press release & links
 
JRFPolitical leaders must find the courage to reach consensus and implement radical tax reforms that will help repair the UK’s broken housing system and stave off another damaging crash. In a new Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) report, the charity calls on politicians to revalue Council Tax bands to reflect real house prices and act as a brake on house price inflation. 
Press release & links
 
CIPD: A new type of leadership is needed in modern organisations in order to build positive workplace cultures that get the best out of people and support innovation, empowerment & ethical behaviour. This is a conclusion that emerges from a new CIPD research report - Perspectives on leadership in 2012: Implications for HR.
Press release & links
 
PXPolicy Exchange has published a paper, Why Aren’t We Building Enough Attractive Homes: Myths, misunderstandings and solutions, recommending wholesale changes to the planning system.  It says that ‘2012 is currently on course to be the year with the second lowest annual level of new homes since World War II and a change of course is needed to be taken by the government to get Britain building’.
 
The paper says that the argument often used by developers that there isn’t enough credit to build is false. Between 2000 & 2007 new lending doubled but all that happened was house prices and land prices soared – the number of new housing built barely rose.
Press release ~ Why Aren’t We Building Enough Attractive Homes? Myths, misunderstandings and solutions
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