Archives for September 5th, 2000

THE ECONOMICS OF PUBLIC SPENDING

Headlines, PublicNet: 5 September, 2000

The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) is to stage a seminar today (September 5, 2000) in which it is expected that a leading academic will call for the Government to hand investment in transport to the private sector. Just as the Government’s ten year Transport Plan gets under way, Professor Clifford Winston of the Brookings Institute in Washington DC will be arguing that public investment and interference in public transport development does more harm than good. He has already undertaken a study in America that suggests private sector innovators would perform better.The seminar, at the IFS building in Ridgmount Street in London, links to one of a series of surveys from distinguished academics covering the economic issues in public spending. The IFS says that Government spending accounts for about forty per cent of national income. The purpose of the surveys is to investigate the justification for public spending, its effectiveness, and the relationship with the public and private sector on such investment. Professor Winston’s seminar presentation is a preliminary version of a paper that will eventually be published in the publication Fiscal Studies, produced by the IFS.

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RADICAL OVERHAUL FOR SCHOOL TERMS?

Headlines, PublicNet: 5 September, 2000

Just as most children return to school this week after the long summer holiday, a new report is recommending an end to long terms with long gaps in between. An Independent Commission on the Organisation of the School Year set up by the Local Government Association (LGA) argues for a six-term year and summer holidays to run from July to mid-August. Exams would be conducted earlier, in April.Among the other recommendations are a fixed two week break for Easter, regardless of when the religious festival occurs. The benefits of the change cited are that holidays would be taken during better weather and longest days, that there would be benefits to the tourist industry, and that earlier exams would help hay fever sufferers. The new system would then allow universities to select on the basis of real, not predicted, A level grades.

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