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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Untargeted spend risks widening attainment gap between rich and poor schools, says think tank

Commenting on education spending pledges in the 2019 spending round, Reform Education lead, Dr Luke Heselwood, said:

“The levelling-up of spend across schools will raise per pupil funding and school spend. But because the money is not targeted, more affluent areas are set to benefit most. This will deepen the already stark attainment gap across the country.

“The salary rise for newly qualified teachers is significant and welcome. However, 20 per cent of current teachers earn less than £30,000, 10 per cent earn just over. Both groups will want a pay rise and the Department for Education needs to think about this. 

“The £400 million promised for further education is a good start, but a longer-term funding commitment is needed to bring parity between technical and academic education.”

£1.5 billion for social care isn’t even a short-term fix, says think tank

Commenting on the Government’s Social Care funding announced in the 2019 Spending Round, Reform think tank Health policy lead, Claudia Martinez, said:

“Sadly, the £1.5bn funding injection announced today is not even a ‘sticking plaster’ given the scale of the funding gap.

“Boris Johnson pledged to solve the social care crisis “once and for all” yet the spending round has shown that the Government is stuck on a ‘hamster wheel’ of short-termism.

“The long-term fix is an insurance system in which working-age people contribute part of their salary to a later-life care fund. In the short-term, people should release the equity in their property to pay for their care needs and the Government should reduce overly generous pensioner benefits.”

Spending Round an electioneering fudge, says think tank

Commenting on the 2019 Spending Round, Charlotte Pickles, Director of the Reform think tank, said:

“Today’s spending review is an electioneering fudge. The Chancellor committed to ‘keep control’ of public finances while splurging cash and pledging to rewrite the fiscal rules.

“While additional investment in public services is needed, without any analysis by the government’s fiscal watchdog, the Chancellor has no idea whether the £13.8 billion spending increase is sustainable. And the uncertainty around Brexit only heightens this risk.

“Sajid Javid was right to talk about public services as lifelines of opportunity. Increased investment in left-behind communities, FE, bus services and tackling homelessness is overdue. But the huge and unevidenced injections of cash for criminal justice, education and NHS services appear to be more about winning votes rather than transforming lives.”

PUBLIC SECTOR FOCUS, 30 August 2019

Imogen Farhan, researcher at Reform, wrote an article for the July/August edition of Public Sector Focus, on why the NHS needs to go back to basics in order to realise the 'digital revolution' in mental health.

You can read the piece here.

Projected prison population plunge no justification for unevidenced ‘tough on crime’ policy, says think tank

Commenting on The Ministry of Justice’s prison population projections, Charlotte Pickles, Director of the Reform think tank, said:

“These lower projections do not ‘green light’ the Government’s criminal justice reforms.

“62 per cent of prisons are currently overcrowded, and we have the highest prison population in Western Europe. 

“The Ministry of Justice is also clear that these predictions are likely to change when the Prime Minister’s plans for tougher sentences come into effect. 

“It is vital that the right people are being sent to prison, but a return to the days of ‘prison works’ will not cut crime, reduce reoffending or keep the public safe.”

Covered in The Guardian and other various outlets.

PUBLIC FINANCE, 22 AUGUST 2019

Reform think tank Director, Charlotte Pickles, spoke to Public Finance in a Q&A about Prime Minister Boris Johnson's criminal justice reform, the one-year 'spending review' and plans for our future. 

Read it here

10 prisons pilot success holds the keys to wider reform, says think tank

Commenting on the ‘10 prisons’ project pilot results, Charlotte Pickles, Director of the Reform think tank, said:

“These results are very encouraging, and demonstrate that smart, targeted investment can reduce prison violence.

“These findings must now inform how the £100 million promised last week by the Prime Minister is spent. Violence is a critical issue across the prison estate. The 10 prisons are a small proportion of the estate, and do not include some of the worst in the country, which must now be the focus of attention. 

“It is also vital that the Government does not undermine this progress through its ill-conceived sentencing proposals. Locking more people up for longer will create more demand in an already overstretched system, further exacerbating violence. Prison must always be a last resort.”

Covered in The Financial Times, The Yorkshire Post and other regional publications. 

Public Finance, 16 August 2019

Aidan Shilson-Thomas, Researcher at Reform, wrote an op-ed for Public Finance, outlining why the Prime Minister should focus on re-offending and scrapping short sentences if he wants to cut down on crime.  

Read it here.

City AM, 15 August 2019

Reform think tank Director, Charlotte Pickles, wrote an article for City AM outlining why the Prime Minister's 'tough on crime' rhetoric won't make our streets any safer. 

You can read it here