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Press Releases from 2013

Ministers Must Ensure British Firms Benefit from any Uk Shale Gas Boom

13 December 2013

Government must ensure British firms benefit from any UK shale gas boom Specialist Whitehall unit needed to resolve equity problems and get supply chain in place Government should heed lessons of missed opportunities in offshore wind Safeguards needed against predatory foreign acquisitions in key industries Ministers must urgently ensure British companies are well-placed to exploit the enormous economic advantages that will arise if shale gas extraction takes off in the UK. A report published…

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Restoring Fairness to Social Security

25 November 2013

Personal welfare accounts should replace NI to resurrect the contributory principle Universal state pension is unaffordable; saving for retirement should be compulsory Use sale of banks, Royal Mail and other assets to top up taxpayers' private pensions National Insurance should be abolished and replaced with a system of personal welfare accounts that would provide people with an income during periods of joblessness, parental leave, higher education and retirement, a new Civitas report argues. The accounts…

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Politicians Back to 'Business As Usual' on the Economy - Ex-No 10 Adviser

13 November 2013

Neither Labour nor Tories have faced up to UK's economic challenges New super-ministry of economics needed to devolve power to regions British Museum and Royal Opera House should be moved to Northern cities Westminster politicians are reverting to "business as usual" on the economy, putting the UK at risk of a return to the unsustainable debt-fuelled growth that left it so badly exposed during the 2008 financial crisis, a former Downing Street…

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Devalue the Pound For Growth and Jobs

28 October 2013

Sterling should be allowed to fall to boost GDP and cut unemployment Over-priced pound has made exports uncompetitive and stunted growth Spending cuts risk "dismally poor" growth and years of economic torpor Devaluing the pound by about a third would help get the UK economy growing in line with the world average and reduce unemployment to about 3%, the Labour donor John Mills argues in a new pamphlet for Civitas. Calling for a "radical…

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The State Must Get Behind Industry

28 October 2013

Government must stand ready to actively support British industry Activist industrial strategy laid ground for today's success in automotive and aerospace Coalition's limited ambition risks loss of production lines to China, Japan and Brazil Britain will lose thousands more skilled manufacturing jobs to rival economies unless ministers are prepared to take a radically more interventionist approach to industry, a new Civitas report warns. It proposes a public finance scheme to support domestic suppliers…

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Put Patients In Charge of Nhs Purse Strings

27 September 2013

Patients should be allowed to take charge of NHS commissioning groups Proposal would help tackle "crisis of accountability" in health service Major role for unions and friendly societies in decentralising NHS Patients should be given a direct say in how NHS money is spent through the creation of patient-led commissioning groups, a new Civitas paper argues. The proposal, which is backed by the MP leading the Tories' backbench public services policy review, is designed…

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Reshaping the Eu: a Manifesto For Reform

2 September 2013

Civitas report details the powers David Cameron must try to win back Sovereignty over trade, agriculture and fishing vital to British commercial interests Failure to achieve demands will embolden supporters of UK withdrawal from EU David Cameron must seek to win back British control of agriculture policy, UK fishing waters and international trade deals as he tries to negotiate an acceptable relationship with the European Union, a new Civitas report argues. The study sets out…

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Cowed By the Costs: the New Contraceptive

22 August 2013

Expense fears are persuading too many parents they can only have one child Better awareness needed of the benefits of bigger families, says Civitas book Children with siblings are more likely to be healthier and happier, research shows Single-child parents should be more confident about the potential benefits of expanding their family and not be put off by exaggerated warnings about the costs, a new book published by the think tank Civitas argues. A…

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Regional Banking For Regional Growth

26 July 2013

RBS should be fashioned into a new network of regional banks to support small business Ministers must support development of new institutions based on German Sparkassen, says Civitas Regional model would support growth and reduce banking system's reliance on state welfare The government should urgently consider transforming Royal Bank of Scotland into a German-style network of regional banks, the independent Westminster think tank Civitas says today. The Sparkassen, which only lend within their…

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Time to Turn the Tide on EU Powers

9 July 2013

Theresa May is right to take Britain out of the EU's 133 police and criminal justice measures Opting out and selectively rejoining individual measures is vital to reassert UK parliamentary sovereignty Reclaiming these powers is low risk and high gain - but joining all could be a disaster Britain must leave EU measures which are at best ineffective and at worst outright dangerous, a report from the independent Westminster think tank Civitas warns today. Ahead…

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Tackling the Loan Sharks: an Ethical Alternative

17 June 2013

Credit unions must be allowed to charge more and take bigger deposits from business if they are to provide the antidote to high-interest lenders To be effective charities, they must first be effective financial institutions, says Civitas report The government's reforms do not go far enough and will not remove the obstacles to growth in the credit union sector Burdensome regulation is preventing credit unions providing a widespread affordable alternative to loan sharks…

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Business Models For a Dynamic Economy

3 June 2013

The shareholder corporation is out of step with the digital 21st century Government must facilitate alternative forms for company structures Limited liability needs reform, including a new mandatory insurance British companies are too reliant on the PLC model which is failing to meet the demands of the 21st century digital economy, according to a new book published by the independent think tank Civitas. In Beyond the PLC, economists Greg Fisher and Paul Ormerod provide a…

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'Paving the Way For Polygamy'

31 May 2013

Gay marriage could lead to sibling weddings and multiple spouses, former Archbishop of Canterbury warns Lord Carey says procreation is essential to marriage: homosexual love is not enough But same-sex unions are nothing new and have been around for millennia, anthropologist argues Supporters and opponents brought head to head in new Civitas collection Legalising gay marriage will pave the way for polygamy and even siblings getting wed, the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey…

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Removing the NHS Safety Net

27 May 2013

Victims of rare but treatable conditions could be abandoned to their fate Ministers have quietly moved NHS cost-saving into new territory Decision on life-saving drug has far-reaching consequences for health service Hidden NHS reforms could have a devastating impact on patients with rare diseases, a report published by the independent think tank Civitas warns. Ministers have effectively removed the guaranteed NHS safety net with a decision that has been implemented under the…

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The £200 Billion Price Tag For Britain's Green Folly

17 May 2013

Every home will pay £600 a year towards green energy projects by 2020 Shift to unprofitable renewables will reverse long-term rise in living standards Subsidies are discouraging innovation, so wind and biomass will remain unviable Green energy subsidies will cost every British household £600 a year by 2020, a leading industry analyst warns in a new Civitas publication. The cost to consumers of pursuing EU renewables targets is set to rise above £16 billion…

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The Price of EU Membership

5 May 2013

The European Union costs Britain at least £31 billion a year Leaving the EU is the key to free trade for British exports Membership of the European Union costs the British economy at least £31 billion a year, according to a research paper by the independent think tank Civitas. This figure is a conservative estimate based only on reliable evidence and excluding claims and calculations that cannot be readily substantiated. It is contained in a…

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A Weaker Pound For a Stronger Economy

30 April 2013

The key to recovery is to devalue sterling Long-standing trade deficit is the root of Britain's problems The pound must fall by a third if UK exporters are to compete The pound should be devalued by about a third to unleash British manufacturing and allow the UK to once again pay its way in the world, a pamphlet published by the independent think tank Civitas argues. The strength of sterling is a key…

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The Catch 22 For Uk Manufacturing

19 April 2013

Whitehall policy is reinforcing Britain's competitive disadvantage An active industrial policy is the only way to ensure survival of key industries Osborne has failed to live up to his rhetoric on rebalancing the economy Once-proud British industries are stuck in a spiral of decline because the government is unwilling to support domestic firms through the award of public contracts, a report published by the independent think tank Civitas argues today. Manufacturing is stuck…

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Standing Up to the EU Despots

15 April 2013

Britain's long-standing traditions of freedom and democracy are at risk Margaret Thatcher bears a significant responsibility for the loss of powers to Brussels David Cameron must learn the lessons of Thatcher's mistake Since joining the European Economic Community in 1973, successive British governments have steadily ceded the right of self-rule to Brussels. Even Margaret Thatcher, despite her popular reputation as a bulwark against European encroachment, contributed to this process by surrendering…

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Surrendering Our Liberty

1 April 2013

It is time to abolish Section 5 and reassert the freedom to be offensive Britain is steadily sacrificing its centuries-old commitment to freedom of speech simply to protect people from hearing views they do not like, a new book published by the independent think tank Civitas warns today. In a careful examination of the history of free expression since the 17th century, journalist Philip Johnston describes how a raft of laws from recent decades…

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The Coalition's NHS Reforms Are a Distraction

1 April 2013

Deeper change to healthcare provision is needed As the first GP-led clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) take charge of NHS budgets from today, the independent think tank Civitas said the reforms arising from the Health and Social Care Act were a distraction from the deeper change the health service needs. Civitas is calling for more radical reform that breaks down the virtual state monopoly of healthcare while maintaining the principle of universal provision free at…

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More Childcare Support Is Welcome, But a Simpler System Is Essential

19 March 2013

Increased childcare support for working parents is a positive step, but the Government should consider replacing the cumbersome voucher scheme with a simple tax break. Amid reports that Prime Minister David Cameron will today announce assistance of up to £2,000 a year, Civitas said a system based on income splitting would give parents more freedom over the arrangements and would be better for the economy. Anastasia de Waal, Deputy Director and Director of Family…

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Voters Back Private Care on Nhs - ICM Poll

18 March 2013

The vast majority of British people are open to greater private sector involvement in the provision of NHS services. An ICM poll published today shows that 83% of voters are not concerned who provides services as long as they are free to all at the point of need. The finding demonstrates that, despite the rhetoric of union leaders, NHS professionals and many politicians, the public at large have no objection to more diversity among the…

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Ed Miliband Is Showing the Way on Banking Reform

14 March 2013

Labour's proposal today for a network of regional banks serving local businesses is welcomed by Civitas, the independent Westminster think tank. Civitas has produced extensive research and long advocated a move towards a model based on the German Sparkassen, which promotes relationship banking and has proved highly successful in helping small firms get the finance they need. The Sparkassen grew their lending by 17% between 2006 and 2011 while Germany's big commercial banks…

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A Knowledge-Based Curriculum Is What Our Children Need

13 March 2013

Equipping pupils to play a full role in society is not the same as "rote-learning" Responding to criticism of the Government's proposed new curriculum, the independent think tank Civitas said children needed a foundation of knowledge in order to build skills. Civitas contributed to the Department for Education's consultation and is publishing its own knowledge-based primary curriculum. David Green, director of Civitas, said: "This absolutely isn't about 'rote learning', it…

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Re-Industrialising Britain

12 March 2013

UK manufacturing is ready for a renaissance, but the government must stand ready to help Britain needs a clear and detailed industrial strategy that gives businesses the confidence they need to bring manufacturing jobs back to the UK. After years of decline, as companies have moved production lines to emerging economies with cheaper labour and lower taxes, British industry is showing signs of a comeback. There were renewed fears today of a triple-dip recession…

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Proactive Export Policies Needed to Target Critical Emerging Markets

1 March 2013

Proactive export policies needed to target critical emerging markets A new Civitas report argues that Britain is losing market share in key emerging markets because existing policies to support exporters lag behind German and American policy measures. Underperforming British exporters Sterling has declined by 20% since 2008 yet British exports have barely increased by 2%. Meanwhile the US and Germany have both performed better without experiencing an equivalent devaluation. Incoming Bank of England governor Mark…

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Support For David Cameron's Plans to Use the Aid Budget For Military Expenditure

21 February 2013

Aid agencies doubts are misguided. Jonathan Foreman has welcomed the Prime Minister's decision to consider shifting some of Britain's ring-fenced aid budget to the military, as proposed in his book Aiding and Abetting (Civitas 2013 - below). It represents a much-needed commitment to greater efficiency in the use of the aid budget at a time when the public is understandably less tolerant of waste. (As Margaret Hodge, the chairman of the House…

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Exit the Eu to Boost Uk's Car Industry, Says Study

19 February 2013

EU withdrawal will not damage the automotive industry but help it, according to a new study. The car industry would benefit from an EU exit because an independent UK 'could well attract more rather than less investment from global car groups' in fast-growing Russian and Chinese markets, argue Ian Milne, think tank Global Britain's Director, and Natalie Hamill, EU project Director at Westminster think tank Civitas (p.4). In 2010, 'UK exports of…

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Britain Needs German-Style Banking to Reignite Growth, Says Report

11 February 2013

Copy Germany and create local banks, says report Coalition efforts to reform Britain's over-centralised banks do not go nearly far enough, suggests a new Civitas report. Britain remains over- too reliant on big banks despite incoming Bank of England Governor Mark Carney's recent warning that "too big to fail" banks are still a threat. Emergency relief is the most effective form of aid, the book argues, and is much less prone to…

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Armed Forces Should Take Over One Third of Britain’S Foreign Aid Budget, Says New Book

2 January 2013

A new book by foreign correspondent and senior research fellow at Westminster think-tank Civitas, Jonathan Foreman, urges the Government to revolutionise its approach to overseas aid. Among its recommendations is a shift of one third of the UK’s £8 billion overseas aid budget to the military to ensure that Britain is capable of mounting swift and effective emergency relief operations in the wake of disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and famines. This rather…

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