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Debate

Is it time to abandon national pay bargaining in the public sector?

Date added: Thursday 4th October 2012

Last month, a letter from 25 top economists called on the government to end the practice of national pay bargaining, claiming it is worsening public services and making it harder for the private sector to recruit workers. They have faced opposition from Unions who insist the current system has served public sector employees well. 

Professor Gianni De Fraja - one of the signatories to the letter - and Brendan Barber - General Secretary of the TUC - debate the merits of ending national pay rates. 

Read the debate and then get involved in the comments section below. We will be running a poll on our Facebook page and highlighting the best responses on our Twitter feed.

Be sure to check back for the rebuttals from our debaters in the next few days.

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Yes

Professor Gianni De Fraja

Gianni De Fraja is Professor of Economics at the University of Nottingham, and part-time professor of Public Economics at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”. He is a graduate of the universities of Pisa, Siena and Oxford, and has previously held posts in Bristol, York, and Leicester and visiting posts in Tokyo, Bonn and Barcelona. He has written around 60 papers in the leading international academic journals. In his policy oriented papers he has studied theoretical aspects of competition among state owned and private firms, the regulation of utilities, and the design of health policies and of education policies.

No

Brendan Barber

Brendan Barber has been General Secretary of the TUC since 2003, having first joined the union organisation in 1975. He held a number of posts in the TUC Organisation, and Press and Information Departments, before serving as Deputy General Secretary from 1993 until his election as General Secretary. Brendan has played a lead role in TUC initiatives to promote union organising, oversaw the launch of the TUC's highly successful learning and skills operation, Unionlearn, and played a crucial role in assisting unions and employers to resolve a number of difficult long running disputes. He led the organisation of the huge half a million strong, March for the Alternative in March 2011, and co-ordinated the negotiations and industrial action over public service pensions on 30 November 2011, which saw two million people in 30 unions support their unions’ campaigns for pensions fairness. Brendan has served on a number of public bodies including the Council of ACAS (1995-2004), the UK Commission on Employment and Skills and has been a member of the Court of the Bank of England since 2003. He is retiring as General Secretary at the end of the year.

Is it right to introduce a minimum alcohol price to tackle alcohol-related problems?

Date added: Wednesday 14th March 2012

With the Prime Minister reportedly signalling his support for putting a minimum unit price on alcohol, debate continues as to whether such proposals are illiberal or necessary when considering the harmful effects of excessive alcohol consumption. 

In the 3rd of the CPS' new Debate series, we offer the chance for two leading voices from either side of the argument - Dr Sarah Wollaston MP and Philip Davies MP - to set out their case. 

Is it right to introduce a minimum alcohol price to tackle alcohol-related problems? We want to know your thoughts! 

Read the debate and then get involved in the comments section below. We will be running a poll on our Facebook page and highlighting the best responses on our Twitter feed.

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Is there a valid economic case for ‘going green’ in an ‘age of austerity’?

Date added: Tuesday 14th February 2012

None of the pledges made by the Coalition upon coming to power in May 2010 were more striking than the following two:

  • To tackle the nation's finances and bring the budget under control
  • To be the "greenest government ever".

The argument has raged amongst Conservatives about whether green jobs are the future of the economy and a path to economic prosperity, or the misguided policy of those following a bad science that damages Britain's hopes for financial recovery and heaps cost and misery on the bills of energy company customers all over the UK.

In the 2nd of the CPS' new Debate series, we offer the chance for two leading voices from either side of the argument - Tim Yeo MP and Lord Lawson - to set out their case. 

Is there a valid economic case for ‘going green’ in an ‘age of austerity’? We want to know your thoughts!

Read the debate and then get involved in the comments section below. We will be running a poll on our Facebook page and highlighting the best responses on our Twitter feed.



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Do critics of Conservative euro-sceptics have anything to apologise for?

Date added: Tuesday 15th November 2011

In September 2011, the Centre for Policy Studies published the book ‘Guilty Men’ by journalist and author Peter Oborne.

The book claimed to hold to account the politicians, institutions and commentators who had sought to tie the fortunes of Britain to the Euro. Oborne and co-author Frances Weaver highlighted what they felt were unscrupulous and vicious personal attacks on opponents of the Euro and called for a radical reappraisal of recent British political history.

The book caused much political reaction, both for and against the conclusions, and fervent debate over the issues raised. The Centre for Policy Studies is proud to present the first in our re-launched ‘Debate’ series – ‘DO THE CRITICS OF CONSERVATIVE EURO-SCEPTICS HAVE ANYTHING TO APOLOGISE FOR? – featuring Telegraph journalist and Guilty Men author Peter Oborne arguing that they do and author, broadcaster and Times journalist David Aaronovitch arguing against. To give the debate added spice, Oborne named Aaronovitch as one of the ‘guilty men’ in his work. 

Read the debate and then get involved in the comments section below. We will highlight the best responses on our Twitter feed

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Free markets, free minds?

Date added: Friday 23rd September 2011

Are free markets a necessary and sufficient condition for free minds, or do they leave us prey to over-powerful corporations?

At the Inaugural Margaret Thatcher Lecture on 22 October 2010, Rupert Murdoch praised the “iconoclastic and the unconventional" and criticised entrenched interests for curbing the enthusiasm and energy of our vigorous nation of entrepreneurs. But Murdoch's detractors might argue that his heavy-handed approach to free markets has curbed free thought by threatening to create a stranglehold on British media.

His words will surely re-enliven the age old debate between competition and regulation, untrammelled free markets and the protection of both individuals and national assets. Over to our debaters....

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