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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Prime Minister must urgently fix failing homelessness prevention policy, says think tank  

Commenting on ONS statistics showing Between April and June this year, 68,000 people were homeless or at risk – up over 11 per cent compared to the same time last year, Reform Researcher, Imogen Farhan, said: 

“The current approach to preventing homelessness is failing and existing policies are making the problem worse.

“Housing benefit has fallen woefully short of covering the cost of rent; the social housing stock continues to decline due to Right to Buy; and an absence of long-term funds for council services has completely undermined the Homelessness Reduction Act and the Rough Sleeping Strategy.

“Headline-grabbing, one-off funding pots are not the answer. Building more social homes, ensuring housing benefit covers rental costs and investing in prevention are urgently needed.”

Covered by The Mirror

Healthcare IT News

Eleonora Harwich, Director of Research and Head of Tech Innovation at Reform gave her 'digital health predictions for 2020' in Healthcare IT News. 

Read here.

Boosting access to top universities for poor students must be a priority for PMs plan to ‘level up’, urges think tank

New figures published today by the Department for Education show that the most advantaged pupils were five times more likely to progress to a top university than the most disadvantaged in 2017/18. This shows that minimal progress has been made over the past 8 years – the figure was six times more likely in 2009/10.

Commenting, Reform Education Researcher, Imogen Farhan, said: 

“Top universities should be engines of social mobility, but today’s statistics show that this is far from a reality.

“£66 million was spent on access and participation last year. But throwing money at the problem isn’t working.

“Greater transparency about how universities are spending access budgets and admissions which consider a student’s background are required.

“If the Prime Minister is serious about closing the opportunity gap and ‘levelling up’ attainment in the country this must be a priority.”

Covered by The Times, BBC News and FE News

City AM, 29 November 2019

Claudia Martinez, Research Manager and Health lead at Reform, wrote an op-ed for City AM, arguing that no party manifesto has put forward a credible fix for social care.

You can read the full article here.

CNBC Squawk Box, 25 November 2019

Eleonora Harwich, Director of Research and Head of Tech Innovation at Reform, appeared on CNBC Squawk Box to discuss spending announcements in the 2019 General Election.

Substandard Conservative social care solution confirms no party offers voters a credible plan

Commenting on the publication of the Conservative Manifesto, Reform Research Manager and Health Lead, Claudia Martinez, said:

On Social Care reform:

“It is outrageous to see yet another manifesto kicking the social care funding can down the road.

“We desperately need a long-term funding solution that ensures that people can access the care they need. Instead, the Conservatives, like Labour and the Lib Dems, have ducked the biggest public services issues facing the country.

“Any plan relying on political consensus is fantasy - parliament has never been so divided. It’s time for politicians to step up and take the tough decisions, which for social care means introducing an insurance-based system. Everything else is a sticking plaster.”  

On the Conservatives pledge to boost the nursing workforce by 50,000:

“This is a welcome announcement.

“It is sensible that the Conservatives have planned to improve training and retention to help boost the number of nurses. The reintroduction of maintenance grants to support trainee nurses is a smart move to encourage more into training. These grants should be means-tested so that taxpayer’s money is spent supporting the disadvantaged.”

The Telegraph, 21 November 2019

Charlotte Pickles, Director of Reform, wrote an analysis of the Labour Manifesto ahead of the 2019 General Election. 

Read here.  

Worrying hypothecated health tax and lavish universal welfare spending overshadow sensible Lib Dem manifesto

Commenting on the Liberal Democrats proposed hypothecated Health and Care Tax, Reform Health Lead and Research Manager, Claudia Martinez, said:

 

“The Liberal Democrats’ pledge to introduce a ring-fenced health and social care tax is profoundly misguided. It ties NHS funding to an unpredictable economic cycle and takes no account of the fact that health and social care spending is increasing at a faster rate than GDP.

“Far from showing the NHS is safe in Liberal Democrat hands, this policy places risk on a system that desperately needs financial certainty.”

Commenting on the manifesto, Charlotte Pickles, Director of the Reform think tank, said:

“The Liberal Democrats’ pledge to reduce the national debt is welcome, but this fiscal prudence is undermined by the sheer scale of manifesto spending commitments.

“Universal welfare pledges such as maintaining the pensions triple lock and committing £13bn to expand free childcare may be electorally appealing, but they’re a waste of taxpayers’ money.

“While this manifesto does contain some promising policies – such as a later life skills budget and support for carers – it is not a viable programme for government.”

Lib Dem recruitment drive and school spend must be aimed at schools most in need, says think tank

Commenting on education spending and teacher recruitment announcements, Dr Luke Heselwood, Reform education lead, said:

“While extra funding for schools is welcome, it should be targeted at those facing the largest financial difficulty. Simply ‘levelling up’ per-pupil spend risks wasting taxpayers’ money.

“20,000 new teachers will help to plug the vacancy gap, but raising attainment must be the primary objective. Effort must be made to get the best teachers into the worst performing schools, where they can have the most impact.

“Parties also need to think about how to retain teachers – there is little point focusing on getting people in the front door, if the number of teachers leaving out the back door continues to grow.”