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Press Releases from 2015

Drive for high-wage economy is undermined by large-scale immigration

4 December 2015

Job prospects and wages of lower-paid workers are being undermined by high immigration, says Cambridge economist Modest fiscal contribution of recent immigrants is outweighed by long-term pressures on infrastructure Migration policy should be seen as complement to aid policy not a means of self-enrichment The government's ambition to create a high-wage, low-welfare economy is being undermined by large-scale immigration into the UK, a report by the cross-party…

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Limits on nurse training numbers should be scrapped

24 November 2015

Central rationing of nursing degrees is exacerbating chronic shortage of NHS nurses and over-reliance on expensive agency workers A new funding system is needed to create thousands more nurse training places every year, Civitas report argues Proposal would increase the number of UK-trained nurses and and incentivise them to make a long-term commitment to the NHS Despite high unemployment among young people, the NHS has for years deliberately trained fewer nurses than…

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Good government under threat from rising influence of special advisers

11 November 2015

Objective civil service advice is being steadily marginalised by ministers, says ex-Home Office speechwriter Alasdair Palmer The quality of public administration is being undermined by a growing reliance on political counsel from spads Politicisation of advice is undoing the Northcote-Trevelyan settlement designed to rid government of 'unmeritocratic, politicised jobbery' Britain's rare heritage of relatively efficient, uncorrupt government is under threat as politically-appointed special advisers become increasingly powerful in Whitehall, a new…

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European Arrest Warrant destroys 800-year-old legal protections

23 October 2015

In an essay for Civitas, Stuart Wheeler argues that membership of the arrest warrant risks serious injustices to UK residents - and the only way to withdraw now is to leave the EU Britain's adoption of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) has swept away 800-year-old legal protections for defendants which now cannot be restored without leaving the EU, Stuart Wheeler writes in a new Civitas publication. He argues that, by requiring UK authorities…

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British trade has much to gain outside the EU

16 October 2015

An independent trade policy offers enormous scope for opening up global markets to UK goods and services Switzerland's success proves that better terms for exporters can be secured without Brussels Trade deals giving British exports much more favourable access to world markets would be well within the UK's reach if it walks away from the EU, a new study by the cross-party think tank Civitas shows. An independent Britain would have the…

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High unemployment has been a chronic condition of the European Union for decades

17 July 2015

Joblessness in the EU is not a symptom of the financial crisis but has been a characteristic of the single market since its inception Non-member European economies have had half as much unemployment as the core EU economies for most of the past two decades Long-term unemployment was higher in the first decade of the single market than it is now Unemployment has been significantly higher and more severe in the European Union…

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Defence acquisition requires a revolution in thinking to cope with tighter spending and unpredictable threats

24 June 2015

Acquisition processes, no longer compatible with a smaller budget, are "in an impossible mess", say defence experts Priorities must shift from large, expensive equipment to flexible research and development that can rapidly meet specific weapons requirements as needed Politicians are falling prey to a "positively dangerous" illusion that Britain is as powerful as a decade ago The Ministry of Defence must reduce its reliance on major programmes delivered by a few prime contractors if it…

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The foreign takeover of British manufacturing expertise

12 June 2015

A quarter of UK aerospace suppliers have fallen under foreign ownership since 1990, case study suggests Cherry picking of most valuable companies has weakened scope for remaining British firms to reduce the trade gap New safeguards needed to protect local control of UK technology and know-how The extent to which high-value British manufacturing firms have fallen prey to foreign takeover is laid bare in an in-depth case study of the aerospace supply…

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Failure to train enough doctors and nurses is costing the NHS money and undermining patient care

2 April 2015

Government should invest more in training to reduce reliance on locums and agency staff Greater competition for jobs would encourage the take-up of permanent posts in hard-to-recruit specialisms like A&E and general practice A larger pool of dependable permanent staff would enhance workforce stability and patient safety A failure to train enough staff in the NHS is leading to an over-reliance on agency staff, locums and overseas recruitment which…

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Legislation needed to prevent hostile takeovers

30 March 2015

Whitehall must wake up to the dangers of asset-stripping. The government need not intervene directly, but should give public companies the chance to defend themselves. Britain should introduce US-style anti-takeover legislation to help combat the continued decline of manufacturing, a new paper published by the cross-party think tank Civitas argues. The UK is almost alone in tolerating the constant threat of hostile takeovers, such as Kraft's takeover of Cadbury's…

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The UK courts are on an 'expansionist binge' which must be checked

20 March 2015

The judiciary's use of human rights law to meddle in policy decisions amounts to 'denial of democracy', says barrister 'Supine' governments have lacked the courage to stand up to the courts' repeated power grabs Strict ground rules should be introduced for judges to follow on the application of the human rights convention The Problem with Human Rights Law: Is it out of control? Who is responsible? What is the solution? can be read in…

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Selective school admissions today: from the transparent to the covert

16 March 2015

The debate about selective secondary admissions is as fierce as ever, but educational opportunity is now determined by much more than just academic ability, a new Civitas book shows. A common view is that the battle for the best schools is increasingly unfair A major new Civitas collection brings together a diverse array of education experts and commentators to explore the pros and cons of academic selection and the growing complexity of admissions processes for…

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Britain no longer needs "the full gym membership"

2 March 2015

Costs of EU membership should be fully audited prior to UK renegotiation Senior MP Brian Binley writes that full membership is "too costly" and unnecessary Terms are getting worse and should be replaced by a trade-focused relationship "Nugatory" reform will be counter-productive and lead to a messier withdrawal A senior Tory MP calls today for an urgent cost-benefit analysis of Britain's membership of the EU - warning that the current terms are…

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Give taxpayers the right to pay more into the NHS and access treatment where they like

20 February 2015

Allow taxpayers to contribute more to NHS and access treatment where they like Proposal to raise up to £3.5bn extra revenue by allowing patients to spend their budgets where they choose, inside or outside the NHS A voluntary scheme that would make the NHS more responsive to demand and give patients more say in their treatment Additional income would alleviate need for higher general taxes to pay for under-funded NHS NHS patients should…

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Norway's relationship with the EU provides credible model for Britain

13 February 2015

Flourishing non-member Norway enjoys tariff-free trade with Europe as well as political independence Withdrawing to the European Economic Area would cost UK less while maintaining significant influence over EU legislation Norway has powers to suspend free movement of labour and negotiate individual trade deals on leading exports Withdrawing from the EU but remaining part of the European Economic Area (EEA) free trade zone is a realistic objective that could provide the best of…

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Rent ceilings needed to tackle affordability crisis

2 January 2015

Rent inflation exacerbated by spiralling housing benefit bill in a vicious circle The cost of supporting low-income households in the private rented sector has more than doubled in a decade Indefinite tenancies and index-linked ceilings on rent rises would give growing numbers of renters the security they need Tenants of private landlords should be given the right to stay in their property for as long as they please with no risk of their…

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