Press coverage

Find coverage in the press of Reform's latest work below. 

We are always happy to comment on policy issues relevant to our work. If you would like a quote, an interview, or a background briefing, please email press@reform.uk or ring 020 7799 6699 for the quickest response.  

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Report coverage: When furlough has to stop

On Friday 3 July, Reform and the Learning & Work Institute published 'When furlough has to stop: Next steps to avert long-term unemployment'. 

The report was covered by: the IndependentPolitics Home, TES and FE News

You can read the full report here

Renationalising probation not a ‘silver bullet’ but a ‘huge challenge’, warns think tank

Commenting on the Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland QC MP’s announcement that probation services will be renationalised, Aidan Shilson-Thomas, Reform Criminal Justice lead, said:

“Renationalising probation services is no silver bullet, and does not guarantee the quality of offender supervision needed to keep the public safe and reduce reoffending.

“It will be a huge challenge for the National Probation Service to take over from the private sector in such a short time, including recruiting and training large numbers of staff.

“Previous reforms have been rushed, and the next steps must be taken carefully. The Government must not make the same mistake of under investing, which crippled the current model, and avoid overburdening probation services with unnecessary centralisation.”

City AM, 13 May

In response to the Chancellor's announcement extending the Corona Virus Job Retention Scheme and introduction of part-time working, Aidan Shilson-Thomas wrote a comment piece for City AM.

Read it here.

Furlough extension and flexibility is welcome, but eligibility criteria and fraud prevention must now be tightened to minimise the bill 

Welcoming the Chancellor’s statement to the House of Commons announcing an extension of the Furlough scheme and the introduction of part-time working, Aidan Shilson-Thomas, Reform Researcher, said:

“I warmly welcome this move which will help prevent a wave of redundancies and aid our economic recovery.

“Crucially, the Chancellor’s plan to introduce part-time working will give employers the flexibility to reintroduce furloughed staff gradually, following the tempo of the economic recovery.

“However, while the Chancellor is right to err on the side of caution, he must minimise the risk of wasting taxpayers’ money. Extending the scheme must be accompanied by an urgent review of the eligibility criteria to ensure only companies that have taken a serious financial hit receive support. To that end, Government should now ask employers to prove their financial hardship, as they do in other countries. HMRC must also ramp up efforts to deter any abuse of the scheme, with serious sanctions for would-be fraudsters.”

Newsnight, 1 May 2020

Reform Director, Charlotte Pickles, was interviewed by Newsnight to discuss the findings of our report 'Working through it'. 

Charlotte set out the need for flexible 'short-time' working as we exit the COVID-19 lockdown. 

You can watch the episode back here

Conservative Home 29 April 2020

To accompany the launch of Reform's latest report 'Working through it', Aidan Shilson-Thomas wrote for Conservative Home.

The article praised the success of the UK furlough scheme, but outlined the need for changes as the UK economy reopens as the COVID-19 lock down is phased out. 

Report coverage: Working through it: Assessing state employment support responses to the coronavirus

On Wednesday 29 April, Reform published 'Working through it' calling for 'short-time' working to be introduced as the COVID-19 lock down is phased out.  

The paper was covered by: The TimesThe Daily TelegraphThe Mirror, Daily Mail OnlinePersonnel TodayThis is Money and the Morning Advertiser

The findings also featured in the Today Programme's morning coverage. Aidan was interviewed by TalkRADIO and William Mills, co-author and Reform Communications Manager, was interviewed by BBC Humberside. 

COVID-19 prisoner release plan is welcome but could go further

Commenting on Government plans to temporarily release low-risk prisoners to fight the spread of COVID-19, Aidan Shilson-Thomas, Reform Criminal Justice lead, said:

“The Government is absolutely right to take these steps to reduce the prison population and help mitigate the impact of COVID-19. Given the rate of spread, these measures should be actioned as quickly as possible, while maintaining public safety.

“But the Government must also reduce the flow of people entering prison in the first place. We therefore urge the Lord Chancellor to go further.

Reform has shown that over 80 per cent of short sentences are not for non-violent offences, and community punishments are on average more effective. The Government should ban the use of these sentences immediately to further aid efforts to house a single prisoner per cell.”

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, 26 March 2020

Aidan Shilson-Thomas, Reform Researcher, appeared on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire to discuss our Reform Perspectives on 'Reducing the prison population: Extending Home Detention Curfew and scrapping short sentences'.

Listen from 17.40 here.