Getting your share of the banks: giving the banks back to the people

Stephen Williams
March 2011

The 2008 financial crisis led to the government taking substantial shareholdings in the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group. The time will soon come for the state to divest itself of these shareholdings. In the CentreForum report 'Getting your share of the banks: giving the banks back to the people' Stephen Williams MP, co-chair of the Liberal Democrat Treasury Parliamentary Committee, proposes a new model of privatisation. His proposal would maximise the likelihood of recouping the entirety of the government's investment whilst distributing shares to the British public, showing that capitalism can be both popular and fair.

Download the full report.

Click here to view policy impact timeline.

Football and the Big Society

Paul Marshall with Sam Tomlin
March 2011

This report looks at how the bond between football clubs and their fans could be strengthened through a series of reforms to club ownership and finance. Arguing that under its current governance structure English football is blighted by unsustainable levels of debt and instability, the authors call for:

  • the introduction of a consistent licensing regime across the professional game to include financial fair play rules encompassing income statement and balance sheet measures of financial sustainability;
  • rights of supporter representation on football club boards and extension of the Fit and Proper Persons Test;
  • community 'Right to Buy' rules, where fans are offered a chance to buy back their club when a change of ownership occurs; and
  • reform of the FA such that its regulatory and management responsibilities are separated.
  • Download the full report.

    Pathway to prosperity: making student immigration work for universities and the economy


    Thomas Brooks with Chris Nicholson
    February 2011

    This report makes suggestions for how to strengthen the student visa system without preventing genuine students from studying in the UK.

    The coalition government's proposed reforms of the immigration system seek to reduce total net migration, and also to eliminate migration fraud from student visa provision. As the largest proportion of non-EU migrants, international students have received particular scrutiny. The aim to reduce the number of fraudulent students is understandable, but the methods proposed by the government to meet this aim would deter many genuine students without achieving the government's objectives. In particular, raising the minimum English language level would harm higher education and the whole economy by blocking genuine students from studying in the UK.

    CentreForum believes there are better ways to achieve the government's objectives without causing such a high level of collateral damage.

    Download the full report.

    Click here to view policy impact timeline.

    Cooperating out of crime

    Dave Nicholson
    March 2011

    David Cameron's Big Society initiative envisages an increased role for communities and for voluntary and private sectors in the delivery of public services. As part of this, the Ministry of Justice is seeking to involve prisoners in their own rehabilitation - requiring them to work, earn money and repay the victims of their crimes.

    This paper proposes that the 'rehabilitation revolution' would be boosted by the establishment of cooperatives and mutuals. This would allow offenders, ex-offenders, professional staff and community members to work in partnership providing employment, promoting rehabilitation and supplying comprehensive after-care services.

    Collaborative structures such as these will foster the development of systems of mutual social and economic support to help offenders to desist from crime, and build a safer society.

    Download the full report.

    Rehabilitation works: ensuring Payment by Results cuts reoffending

    Chris Nicholson
    February 2011

    The prison population has increased to over 85,000 and spending on rehabilitation has reached record levels; yet reoffending rates remain stubbornly high in the UK. There is widespread agreement within the coalition government that the country is in need of a 'rehabilitation revolution'. However, rather than government deciding such initiatives centrally, the Ministry of Justice is proposing a much greater role for the private and voluntary sectors. Furthermore, it anticipates that for some groups of offenders providers of rehabilitation services should be paid only to the extent that they are successful in reducing reoffending; Payment by Results (PbR).

    Drawing on the commercial experience of the author, 'Rehabilitation Works: ensuring Payment by Results' cuts reoffending assesses the practicalities of implementing a PbR regime for reducing reoffending. How should the system be designed so as to avoid the risk of 'parking and creaming' of clients or offenders? And in what way can it be ensured that a diverse provider base is created, where SMEs and third sector organisations are not priced out of the bidding process? In order for a PbR model to be effective, there must be a diverse provider market and a commercial framework ensuring providers can generate a return whilst also offering the government value for money as a result of the policy. This paper recommends a phased introduction of outcome based payment mechanisms and stresses that the scheme will not be effective if offenders are treated as a single generic group.

     

    Download the full report.