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Welcome to the CMPO Public Service Reform blog

September 7, 2010

Simon Burgess

Welcome to the CMPO Public Service Reform blog, CMPO Viewpoint.

There has always been intense and passionate argument about how best to deliver public services. Working out how to provide effective and responsive services within a reasonable budget has been described as the “holy grail” of politics. That was in the good times. The current debates on how to reform public services take place in a context of severe fiscal austerity. This is very evident in the UK with the newly-elected Conservative-LibDem Coalition producing radical new plans across the public sector, alongside major budget cuts. But it is true worldwide too, with many governments struggling to get their public services producing more with less.

There are many unanswered questions: can very significant budget cuts be implemented without a deterioration in the quality of service? What will be the effects of the new institutional reforms in schools, health care and welfare provision?  Can GPs essentially manage the NHS? Will free schools revolutionise education in this country? Who will budget cuts hurt the most? Has the time come for a truly radical reform of welfare? How do these and past reforms affect social mobility and access to the best jobs in society?

We at CMPO will play our part in addressing these questions, bringing evidence and insight to the issues.  This new blog is a way of providing timely and informed contributions to the debates. This is where CMPO members and associates can offer commentary on current issues, a summary of the scientific evidence on particular topics, plus new research results. We will obviously continue with the day job, producing the lengthy scientific papers that are the backbone of our research, but we also have a duty and a wish to communicate the results of that research as widely as we can.

We hope that this new venture adds an extra dimension to our contribution to policy-making.

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