CPS: While the UK veto on the Financial Transactions Tax (or 'Tobin Tax') is solid, an FTT could still cause significant damage to the UK financial services industry if it is introduced – as is being planned – by a group of eurozone countries, warns renowned international tax expert John Chown in a new report from the Centre for Policy Studies.
ScotGov: Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has welcomed independent research which shows wind farms do not affect the choice of 8 in 10 tourists to visit Scotland and most people do not feel wind farms spoil the countryside.
PC&PE: The Public Accounts Committee has published a report, which examines changes to arm's length bodies across government. The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the CPA, said: "We have substantial concerns about the robustness of the Government's claim that its programme to cut the number of its arm's length bodies will result in administrative savings of £2.6 billion”.
PC&PE: Transport Committee Chair, Louise Ellman, has welcomed the government's progress on tackling insurance fraud. The Committee has published its report; The cost of motor insurance: follow up: Government Response to the Committee's Twelfth Report of Session 2010-12 (HC 1934).
PC&PE: In a report published last week, the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) calls on the Government to publish an annual 'Statement of National Strategy' in Parliament, to underpin the annual spending round and the run-up to the budget. PASC concludes that a clearer expression of the nation's strategic aims is vital to ensure that short-term decisions are made in the context of the long term national interests.
In the light of recent concerns about a strategic vacuum at the centre of Government, this Report explores the capacity of Ministers & officials to ‘carry out long-term strategic thinking to tackle the complex, diverse and unpredictable domestic and global challenges the country faces’.
ScotGov: An expected rise in the number of people with learning disabilities means the nursing workforce will need to adapt, according to a new report published last week. The report says that ‘people with learning disabilities should have access to the expert learning nursing & support they need, want and deserve’.
The report ‘Strengthening the Commitment’ aims to ensure that people with learning disabilities of all ages have access to expert Learning Disabilities Nurses and that their families & carers get the best support & care. It also seeks to make best use of Learning Disabilities Nurses throughout the entire health & social care system and improve the image of learning disabilities nursing as a whole.
Ofgem: Ofgem has recently published the RIIO–Transmission (RIIO-T1) Final Proposals for the two fast tracked companies, Scottish Power (SPTL) and SSE (SHETL). As part of the price controls, over £7bn has been earmarked for Scotland’s high voltage network, delivering much needed investment to replace ageing infrastructure and enabling greater connections to renewable generators. These controls will start from 1 April 2013 and run until 2021.
Cebr: New Centre for Economics and Business Research forecasts released recently indicate that the increases in oil & commodity prices – reflecting the impact of quantitative easing in the US & Eurozone – mean that the inflation forecast for this year has been revised sharply upwards from 1.7% for Q4 2012 to 2.7% for that quarter.
ESRC: A recent research project, 'The Net Generation encountering e-learning at University', has found that ‘a small minority of today's university students don't use email and others are confused by the array of technologies available at universities’. Yet many students couldn't bear to be without their mobile phones and find themselves distracted by social networking sites during study.
RUSI: In advance of the NATO summit in Chicago, the Royal United Services Institute has collaborated with the partner institutions in the United States to explore potential solutions to NATO's emerging nuclear dilemmas.
RUSI's Research Director has contributed to a paper entitled Looking Beyond the Chicago Summit: Nuclear Weapons in Europe and the Future of NATO, which identifies key issues within NATO nuclear policy which will have to be addressed at the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago and beyond.
Demos: The ethical principles upon which the British security authorities should be allowed to monitor social media are laid out in a report published recently by the think tank Demos. #Intelligence argues that social media intelligence – ‘SOCMINT’ – could play a key role in keeping the public safe and should become an important part of intelligence & policing work.
#Intelligence presents a new framework based on 6 principles for how social media can be collected & used in a way that is both effective & ethical: serving the public while respecting the right to privacy and the need the keep the internet as a free and open space.
JRF: It has long been assumed that one of the reasons children from low-income households have poorer educational outcomes is that they have low aspirations. New research published recently by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation challenges that myth and gives a strong steer on what can be done to narrow the attainment gap.