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Over the last ten years, New Labour has boosted public spending by around a trillion pounds - that's GBP1,000,000,000,000 of our taxes - over GBP50,000 for every household in Britain. But what have we got for our money? Effective and responsive public services that are the envy of the world? Or the creation of a vast, self-serving bureaucracy that has presided over the greatest waste of money in British history? With so much money, a tsunami of extra cash, being thrown at public services - health, education, policing, defence, social services and public administration - there have been some successes. Nevertheless, the results of the Government's tidal wave of extra spending have been worse than pitiful. In department after department, it is the same sorry story - a triple whammy of incompetence, cover-up and cuts that have all but decimated public services, while those responsible have lavished money and honours on themselves. David Craig exposes the sometimes tragic, sometimes comic story of how New Labour's years of mismanagement have led to a bureaucratization of Britain that has squandered almost unimaginable amounts of taxpayers' money, caused irreparable damage to all our lives and rewarded the man responsible with the keys to Number 10.
Consumer credit is an integral part of many western societies. This book provides a comprehensive view of how credit granting institutions operate and discusses the relationship between the strategic objectives set by senior management and the operational strategies employed by credit professions working at the coal face of credit provision.
This Palgrave Pivot argues that basic income at a decent level is, in fact, affordable. The contributors approach the topic from the perspectives of three different countries-Canada, Switzerland, and Australia-to overcome objections that a universal program to keep all citizens above the poverty line would be too expensive to implement. They assess the complex array of revenue sources that can make universal basic income feasible, from the underestimated value of public program redundancies to new and so far unaccounted publicly owned assets.
From his birth in the lowest stratum of the samurai class to his assassination at the hands of right-wing militarists, Takahashi Korekiyo (1854-1936) lived through tumultuous times that shaped the course of modern Japanese history. Takahashi is considered "Japan's Keynes" in many circles because of the forward-thinking (and controversial) fiscal and monetary policies--including deficit financing, currency devaluation, and lower interest rates--that he implemented to help Japan rebound from the Great Depression and move toward a modern economy.
Richard J. Smethurst's engaging biography underscores the profound influence of the seven-time finance minister on the political and economic development of Japan by casting new light on Takahashi's unusual background, unique talents, and singular experiences as a charismatic and cosmopolitan financial statesman.
Along with the many fascinating personal episodes--such as working as a houseboy in California and running a silver mine in the Andes--that molded Takahashi and his thinking, the book also highlights four major aspects of Takahashi's life: his unorthodox self-education, his two decades of service at the highest levels of government, his pathbreaking economic and political policies before and during the Depression, and his efforts to stem the rising tide of militarism in the 1930s. Deftly weaving together archival sources, personal correspondence, and historical analysis, Smethurst's study paints an intimate portrait of a key figure in the history of modern Japan.
The First Basel Capital Accord, implemented in 1988, was aimed at ensuring the soundness and stability of the international banking system. The new accord, Basel II, which is planned for implementation in December 2006, is intended to strengthen the framework for dealing with credit risk. This book provides an informative analysis of what Basel II means for the small and medium-sized enterprize (SME) sector in Europe and its impact on its credit financing conditions. It also presents a detailed analysis of how banks formulate an internal rating system and illustrates how this system works in practice. Finally, it concludes with the key measures that should be taken by banks, SMEs, and public policymakers to improve financing in the new rating culture.
This book features the main papers of Gunter Schmolders (1903-1991), a pioneer in economic psychology for the first time in the English language. Schmolders incorporated psychological considerations in his economic analyses at a time when the distance between the two disciplines was much larger than today. His research on 'fiscal psychology' is of particular and lasting interest, impacting greatly on continental economics. During his lifetime, Schmolders failed to build bridges to enable his contemporary fellow economists to appreciate the importance of his work, however the relevance of his approach is much more obvious in the world's current economic climate.
Motivated by the recent proliferation of fiscal consolidation
episodes in the advent of Monetary Union, this book explains the
causes and consequences of fiscal policy in Europe. This book
answers three related questions: What explains the timing of fiscal
adjustments? What explains their different duration and
composition? What are the economic and political consequences of
having implemented different adjustment strategies?
The Stability and Growth Pact provides for the systematic surveillance of the fiscal policies of 25 EU member states. On this basis, this book provides an overview of themes in current fiscal policy, including the impact of ageing populations on fiscal sustainability, fiscal policy over the cycle, fiscal decentralization and expenditure reforms.
Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - cooperative institutional arrangements between public and private sector actors - are now an increasingly relevant and globally popular public policy option. The authors argue that even though PPPs are still evolving, there is now sufficient research to bring these joint ventures to account and to provide lessons for the future. The aim of the book is to investigate how PPP reforms function in comparison to the more traditional methods of providing public sector services and infrastructure and who typically experiences the successes and failures of these reforms. The Challenge of Public-Private Partnerships advances recent thought on PPPs in the areas of risk transfer, financial implications, contractual matters, politics, management and accountability. International case studies are presented from the United Kingdom, Europe, the US and Australasia, and the authors delineate the experience of PPPs in areas such as infrastructure and human services. A strong thread of accountability is woven throughout the book, synthesizing common issues, separating the rhetoric from the performance reality and providing strategies for better meeting the various international challenges for future PPPs. Re-examining the myriad meanings and definitions given to PPPs, and presenting a range of theories and frameworks to improve understanding of PPP events and outcomes, this book will be of great interest to those involved in public administration and public policy-making.
This book upturns many established ideas regarding the economic and social history of Quebec, the Canadian province that is home to the majority of its French population. It places the case of Quebec into the wider question of convergence in economic history and whether proactive governments delay or halt convergence. The period from 1945 to 1960, infamously labelled the Great Gloom (Grande Noirceur), was in fact a breaking point where the previous decades of relative decline were overturned - Geloso argues that this era should be considered the Great Convergence (Grand Rattrapage). In opposition, the Quiet Revolution that followed after 1960 did not accelerate these trends. In fact, there are signs of slowing down and relative decline that appear after the 1970s. The author posits that the Quiet Revolution sowed the seeds for a growth slowdown by crowding-out social capital and inciting rent-seeking behaviour on the part of interest groups.
Pension Systems enters into the current lively debate on European pensions. The focus of the book is the analysis of public intervention in individuals' retirement choice, its rationale and the desirability of legislation introducing a sizeable and compulsory increase in retirement age, to face the prospects of swift population ageing. The book assesses the impact of different retirement rules on individual decisions, on the sustainability of social security systems and on labour market dynamics, and inquires whether mandatory retirement has not become an outdated feature of modern pension systems. The motivations behind public intervention in fixing compulsory retirement rules as well as the likely consequences of allowing the individual a higher responsibility in retirement choices are analysed. These issues are examined both theoretically and empirically and through a focus on country-specific patterns of retirement and on policy issues relevant at the European level. The impact of later retirement on the labour market is also investigated, considering the role of retirement rules in increasing employment. This comprehensive and topical book will appeal to academics and scholars of public finance as well as pensions experts and organisations.
The system for allocating public expenditure to the nations and regions of the UK has broken down. Money goes to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland by the notorious Barnett formula, but this is collapsing and cannot last long. Money goes to the English regions by poorly-understood formulae that work badly. People in every region think that the system is unfair to them. The Fiscal Crisis of the United Kingdom suggests how the system could be fixed, drawing lessons from Australia and Canada. It recommends a Territorial Grants Commission.
This important collection presents an authoritative selection of papers on public private partnerships. The literature is relatively new, and draws on the disciplines of both economics and engineering. As well as examining the recent experience of these schemes - whose evolution has accelerated in recent years - this insightful collection also considers the intellectual origins of the concept, and investigates the organisational and risk management aspects of PPPs. It will be an essential source of reference for all those with an interest in this topical subject. 36 articles, dating from 1991 to 2003
After a massive international campaign calling attention to the development impact of foreign debt, the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative is now underway. But will the HIPC Initiative meet its high expectations? Will debt relief substantially raise growth? How do we make sure that debt relief benefits poor people? And how can we ensure that poor countries do not become highly indebted again? These are some of the key policy issues covered in this rigorous and independent analysis of debt, development, and poverty. JEAN-CLAUDE BERTHLEMY Professor of Economics, University of Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, France ARNE BIGSTEN Professor of Development Economics, G/teborg University, Sweden NANCY BIRDSALL Founding President, Center for Global Development, Washington, USA ABDUR R. CHOWDHURY Director, Economic Analysis Division, United Nations Commission for Europe, Geneva, Switzerland STIJN CLAESSENS Professor of International Finance, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands ERA DABLA-NORRIS International Monetary Fund, USA ISHAC DIWAN Company Director for Ethiopia and Sudan, World Bank, USA BENNO FERRARINI Director of Economic Research at the World Trade Institute, Switzerl
Fiscal policy is critical to the development of poor countries. Whilst spending must be increased on public services, tax must remain low so as to avoid increasing poverty. This text provides a guide to current political debate on the issue, including new results on the development impact of fiscal policies.
In this book a distinguished group of contributors discuss the changing political economy of pension reform. They focus on those countries which have launched a significant reframing of their pension system. Each chapter provides a detailed review of recent pension reforms and offers institutional evidence of the extent to which these reforms suggest a redirection of the welfare state towards a more public-private mix of policies. The countries were selected to represent the variety of new directions which mature industrial countries as well as countries in transition have taken. The book brings to light a number of surprising developments. These include the observation that pension systems do not conform to pure models of welfare system regimes; that a number of diverse developments have contributed to the extension of private pensions; that an emerging pattern of substituting private for public pensions can be detected but public provision still dominates in transition economies and that traditional employer-provided private pension schemes are undergoing significant change. One conclusion is that the design of the pension scheme may be more important than the mix of public-private in preventing the growth of inequality among the aged. This important book will be essential reading for scholars of economics, public policy, political science and finance as well as policymakers and practitioners involved in pension system reform.
Budgeting for the federal government is an enormously complex process. This book provides a comprehensive explanation of the federal budget process, including an overview and separate chapters on the framework for budget enforcement; the President's budget; the congressional budget resolution and reconciliation; revenues and borrowing; authorisations and direct spending; annual appropriations; and the implementation of spending laws. In addition, a thorough explanation is provided pertaining to the federal budget process; the understanding of how it works and how the data is interpreted. Excerpts from legislation, standard forms and other documentation developed at each stage of the budget process are exhibited. Appended materials include a listing of milestones in the federal budget process, citations to major budgetary laws and a glossary of budgetary terms.
It is hard to think of anyone who has contributed so much and so widely to research in international public finance in the last 40 years as has Richard Bird. This volume of essays emerged from a conference dedicated to him. It also expands on our understanding of international public finance. Richard Bird's academic and applied work has always benefited from a far-reaching involvement with, and knowledge of, relevant policy issues in many countries around the world. The range of public finance issues to which he has contributed over the years covers practically the whole gamut of the public finance discipline: tax policy, tax administration, the interdependency between the two, intergovernmental fiscal relations, public expenditure policy, and fiscal management processes. The topics covered in this book reflect the wide contributions of Richard Bird to the subject of international public finance, including original reviews of intergovernmental fiscal relations, fiscal policy, and tax evasion and tax administration, all with a special focus on transition and developing countries. These essays, by top scholars in their own right, will deepen our own understanding of relevant problems and issues in international public finance, much like Richard Bird has been doing for many years, and will be of interest to economists, policymakers and students.
Cost-Benefit Analysis presents an authoritative collection of the most important published articles in the field together with an extensive new introduction by the editors. Whilst focusing on the practical side, looking at applications such as education, transportation and the value of life and health, this important volume also emphasises the essential role of economic theory, with sections on the economic costs of public funds, foreign exchange and labour. The result is an influential selection based on robust and fundamental theoretical propositions - ones that are readily suitable for everyday applications. This timely volume provides a comprehensive synthesis of the current state of the theory and application of cost-benefit analysis. It draws from a wide range of journals to include the key articles which are the benchmarks in the development of the field. It will be invaluable to academics and practitioners alike.
In this book, the latest volume in the annual series published in association with the London Business School and the Institute of Economic Affairs, some of the main issues in UK and EU utility regulation and competition policy are discussed. Topics examined include the new electricity and gas trading markets, regulating the railways, introducing competition into water, telecoms and Ofcom, opening EU gas and electricity markets, the 1998 Competition Act, EU merger policy and a general review of privatisation and regulation in Britain. Essays by expert commentators are followed in each case by comments from the relevant regulator. Contents: Introduction - Colin Robinson 1. The New Electricity Trading Arrangements in England and Wales: A Review - David Currie, Chairman's Comments - Callum McCarthy 2. A Critique of Rail Regulation - Dieter Helm, Chairman's Comments - Tom Winsor 3. Moving to a Competitive Market in Water - Colin Robinson, Chairman's Comments - Sir Ian Byatt 4. The New Gas Trading Arrangements - George Yarrow, Chairman's Comments - Eileen Marshall 5. A Review of Privatisation and Regulation Experience in Britain - Irwin M. Stelzer, Chairman's Comments - Stephen Littlechild 6. Converging Communications: Implications for Regulation - Mark Armstrong, Chairman's Comments - David Edmonds 7. Opening European Electricity and Gas Markets - Graham Shuttleworth, Chairman's Comments - Clare Spottiswoode 8. Concurrency or Convergence? Competition and Regulation Under the Competition Act 1998 - Tom Sharpe QC, Chairman's Comments - Geoffrey Horton 9. Ten Years of European Merger Control - Paul Seabright, Chairman's Comments - Derek Morris
In recent decades, local government has become increasingly complex. The Political Economy of Local Government draws upon recent developments in economics, including new institutional economics, and contemporary advances in the theories of social capital and leadership, in order to explain local government policy formulation. The authors go beyond the study of local public goods to explore the sources of market failure and examine whether local authorities are more susceptible to certain types of government failure. In addition, a transaction cost analysis of markets, hierarchies and networks is applied to ascertain the comparative institutional advantage local authorities might have in the supply of local governance. The book also considers the extent of the influence that these recent advances in the theories of social capital and leadership have on the process and implementation of local government policy. This book offers a fresh and readily accessible perspective on the political economy of local government policy making, and will be of particular interest to students and practitioners of economics, political science, public administration, policy studies and local government.
This book critically analyses the role of the United Arab Emirates Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in the Suspicious Activities Reports regime. The author pays particular attention to its functions and powers in dealing with Suspicious Activities Reports and relevant requirements imposed upon the reporting entities. In the analysis, the author also compares the United Arab Emirates FIU model to the United Kingdom FIU model. In addition, the book investigates whether the current United Arab Emirates FIU model complies with the relevant international recommendations developed by the Financial Action Task Force in relation to the establishment of the unit, as well as its powers and functions. This book suggests that more can be done to improve the current functions and powers of the United Arab Emirates FIU in an international context. Furthermore, the author suggests that the functions and powers of the United FIU model both comply with the international requirements and beneficially extend beyond their directives.
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