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Archive for the ‘United Kingdom’ Category

The U.K.’s Ambitious New Retirement Savings Initiative

April 15, 2014 Comments off

The U.K.’s Ambitious New Retirement Savings Initiative
Source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

The brief’s key findings are:

  • The United Kingdom is rolling out a low-cost retirement system for workers who lack pension coverage.
  • The new system has three core elements:
    • Employers auto-enroll their workers at a 4-percent contribution rate, matched by the employer and government combined.
    • A new non-profit provides the infrastructure to keep costs low.
    • The plans’ target date funds start young workers with low-risk investments to avoid losses that could discourage saving.
  • The U.S.’s new “myRA” program includes two similar design features – low-risk investments and government infrastructure – but it lacks auto-enrollment.
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UK — Beyond the adoption order: challenges, intervention, disruption

April 11, 2014 Comments off

Beyond the adoption order: challenges, intervention, disruption
Source: Department for Education

Research looking at adoption disruptions and how the adoption system can be improved.

UK — Policy Paper: International classified information

April 10, 2014 Comments off

Policy Paper: International classified information
Source: Cabinet Office

This document sets out:

  • how the UK protects international classified information provided to government
  • how the government can exchange UK classified information with international partners
  • the various roles and responsibilities of UK government departments, agencies and contractors

Bureaucratic Interests and the Outsourcing of Security: The Privatization of Diplomatic Protection in the United States and the United Kingdom

April 2, 2014 Comments off

Bureaucratic Interests and the Outsourcing of Security: The Privatization of Diplomatic Protection in the United States and the United Kingdom (working paper version; PDF)
Source: Armed Forces & Society

In spite of its sensitivity, diplomatic protection has received very sporadic scholarly attention. This article provides a comparative analysis of US and UK diplomatic security policies, focusing on the increasing use of private military and security companies (PMSCs) for the protection of foreign service and development agencies’ personnel. The existing theoretical explanations of the privatization of security tasks cannot explain why countries displaying similar material incentives and similar political and market cultures have outsourced diplomatic protection to different degrees, nor can they account for variance in the use of PMSCs by different agencies within the same country. Our analysis highlights the importance of investigating organizations’ interests in providing a more accurate explanation of the varying propensity to outsource armed protection. In both the United States and the United Kingdom, the outsourcing of diplomatic security was a resultant of foreign policy bureaucracies and military organizations’ preferences.

The Future of Immigrant Integration in Europe: Mainstreaming Approaches for Inclusion

March 28, 2014 Comments off

The Future of Immigrant Integration in Europe: Mainstreaming Approaches for Inclusion
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Immigrant integration policies that are designed for migrants to Europe, particularly newcomers, are important, but they can be insufficient over the long run to realize the full economic potential and societal participation of immigrants and citizens with an immigrant background.

For this reason, several European governments have increasingly turned to the strategy of “mainstreaming” integration—an effort to reach people with a migration background through needs-based social programming and policies that also target the general population—in order to address areas where traditional immigrant integration polices have fallen short.

This MPI Europe report assesses the degree to which four European countries—relative veterans regarding the reception and integration of immigrants—have mainstreamed integration priorities across general policy areas such as education, employment, and social cohesion. The report shows how approaches to mainstreaming in Denmark, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom reflect each country’s distinct ethnic profile, diversity, and social traditions. It also offers suggestions for future policy development.

Lessons from Abroad for the U.S. Entitlement Debate

March 27, 2014 Comments off

Lessons from Abroad for the U.S. Entitlement Debate
Source: Center for Strategic & International Studies

The unsustainable federal budget outlook will inevitably push entitlement reform to the forefront of the national policy debate. As America’s leaders consider reform options, they will have much to learn from the experience of other developed countries, several of which have recently enacted far-reaching overhauls of their state pension systems that greatly reduce the long-term fiscal burden of their aging populations. Lessons from Abroad for the U.S. Entitlement Debate places America’s aging challenge in international perspective, examines the most promising reform initiatives in nine other developed countries, and draws practical lessons for U.S. policymakers.

UK — Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration 42nd report: 2014

March 26, 2014 Comments off

Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration 42nd report: 2014
Source: Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration, Department of Health and Office of Manpower Economics

This report sets out the DDRB analysis of evidence given by relevant organisations and makes proposals on doctors and dentists’ pay from April 2014.

AU — The G20: a quick guide

March 26, 2014 Comments off

The G20: a quick guide
Source: Parliamentary Library of Australia

This is a quick guide to basic information about the G20, as well as links to useful summary resources. The G20 background section includes the G20’s history, its members, the hosting system and G20 meeting processes, as well as a brief discussion of selected policy areas. Material on Australia and the G20 includes Australia’s involvement in the G20, Australia’s G20 goals for 2014 and speeches and press releases on the G20. A short list of links provides access to more resources on the G20.

Inequality in Healthy Life Expectancy at Birth by National Deciles of Area Deprivation: England, 2009-11

March 25, 2014 Comments off

Inequality in Healthy Life Expectancy at Birth by National Deciles of Area Deprivation: England, 2009-11
Source: Office for National Statistics

Key Findings

  • Males in the most advantaged areas can expect to live 19.3 years longer in ‘Good’ health than those in the least advantaged areas as measured by the slope index of inequality (SII). For females this was 20.1 years.
  • The largest differences in healthy life expectancy between neighbouring deciles were found between the most deprived area groupings.
  • Males in the most deprived areas have a life expectancy 9.2 years shorter (when measured by the range) than males in the least deprived areas, they also spend a smaller proportion of their shorter lives in ‘Good’ health (70.9% compared to 85.2%).
  • Females in the most deprived areas have a life expectancy 6.8 years shorter (when measured by the range) than females in the least deprived areas they also expect to spend 16.9% less of their life in ‘Good’ health (66.5% compared to 83.4%).

UK — Open Public Services 2014

March 20, 2014 Comments off

Open Public Services 2014
Source: Cabinet Office

The Open Public Services (OPS) White Paper, published in 2011, set out the government’s approach to reforming public services, based on the principles of choice, diversity, accountability, decentralisation and fair access.

This progress report shows how far government has come in reforming public services in line with these principles. It demonstrates how these reforms have improved the quality of our public services and made sure services can respond to individual choices and people’s real life, complex needs.

UK Gross Domestic Expenditure on Research and Development, 2012

March 15, 2014 Comments off

UK Gross Domestic Expenditure on Research and Development, 2012
Source: Office for National Statistics

Key Points

  • In 2012, the UK’s gross domestic expenditure on research and development (GERD), in current prices, decreased by 2% to £27.0 billion compared with 2011. Adjusted for inflation, in constant prices, research and development (R&D) expenditure decreased by 3%.
  • In constant prices, R&D expenditure has increased by 56% from the 1985 estimate of £17.3 billion. Expenditure peaked in 2011 at £27.9 billion.
  • The business sector performed 63% of UK R&D expenditure in 2012. Expenditure by this sector decreased by 2%, in current prices, to £17.1 billion in 2012, compared with 2011.
  • Total R&D expenditure in the UK in 2012 represented 1.72% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a decrease from 1.77% in 2011.
  • International comparisons show that UK R&D expenditure in 2012 was below the EU-28 provisional estimate of 2.06% of GDP.

UK — Effective health care for vulnerable groups prevented by data gaps

March 13, 2014 Comments off

Effective health care for vulnerable groups prevented by data gaps
Source: Department of Health

This report, from the Data and Research Working Group of the National Inclusion Health Board (NIHB):

  • identifies where to find good data and the gaps in information and data where the burdens of ill health and untimely death are greatest for vulnerable groups (vulnerable migrants, gypsies and travellers, homeless people, and sex workers)
  • is for data providers, healthcare professionals, commissioners and others working to improve the health of the vulnerable groups

The report concludes that:

  • it is impossible to obtain a comprehensive picture of the vulnerable groups’ health
  • the health needs of some of the most vulnerable people in society continue to be invisible to health commissioners and the wider health system planners
  • the health needs of the vulnerable groups sometimes place heavy and unpredictable demands on the health service, which may result in multiple avoidable visits to hospital
  • the data gaps prevent effective monitoring of health care use and seriously undermine local efforts by NHS and local government to understand and prioritise the local needs of the vulnerable groups

Mental health and work: United Kingdom

March 7, 2014 Comments off

Mental health and work: United Kingdom
Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Awareness of the importance of mental health at work in the UK is among the highest in the world. However, a number of challenges remain to help people with mental health problems stay in work and facilitate their early return to work. The UK has put in place and is putting in place a number of very important reforms. It will be important to implement those reforms rigorously; to modify and strengthen the reforms that have not yet delivered and to close the remaining gaps identified in the report.

Global Pensions Asset Study – 2014

February 27, 2014 Comments off

Global Pensions Asset Study – 2014
Source: Towers Watson

This is a study of the 13 largest pension markets in the world and accounts for more than 85% of global pension assets. The countries included are Australia, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, the UK and the US. The study also analyses seven countries in greater depth by excluding the six smallest markets (Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, Hong Kong and South Africa).

The analysis includes:

  • Asset size, including growth statistics, comparison of asset size with GDP and liabilities
  • Asset allocation
  • Defined benefit and defined contribution share of pension assets
  • Public and private sector share of pension assets.

Suicides in the United Kingdom, 2012 Registrations

February 27, 2014 Comments off

Suicides in the United Kingdom, 2012 Registrations
Source: Office for National Statistics

Key Points

  • In 2012, 5,981 suicides in people aged 15 and over were registered in the UK, 64 fewer than in 2011.
  • The UK suicide rate was 11.6 deaths per 100,000 population in 2012, but there are significant differences in suicide rates between men and women. Male suicide rates were more than three times higher at 18.2 male deaths compared with 5.2 female deaths per 100,000 population.
  • The highest suicide rate was among men aged 40 to 44, at 25.9 deaths per 100,000 population.
  • The most common methods of suicide in the UK in 2012 were hanging, strangulation and suffocation (58% of male suicides and 36% of female suicides) and poisoning (43% of female suicides and 20% of male suicides).
  • In 2012 in England, the suicide rate was highest in the North West at 12.4 deaths per 100,000 population and lowest in London at 8.7 per 100,000 population.
  • The median registration delay for deaths where suicide was the underlying cause of death was 155 days in England and Wales and 144 days in Northern Ireland. In Scotland, the time taken to register a death did not exceed the allocated eight days.

UK — Measuring National Well-being – Governance, 2014

February 26, 2014 Comments off

Measuring National Well-being – Governance, 2014
Source: Office for National Statistics

This article is published as part of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Measuring National Well-being Programme. The programme aims to produce accepted and trusted measures of the well-being of the nation – how the UK as a whole is doing. This article explores in more detail aspects of governance considered important for understanding National Well-being. It considers information on forms of civic engagement, notably satisfaction with government and democracy, interest in politics and participation in politics.

UK — Wildlife Law: Control of Invasive Non-native Species

February 26, 2014 Comments off

Wildlife Law: Control of Invasive Non-native Species
Source: Law Commission of England

On 11 February 2014, we published our final report, Wildlife Law: Control of Invasive Non-native Species. This is the first item to be delivered from the full project. This element of the project was brought forward at the request of Defra and the Welsh Government to enable them to consider whether to introduce early legislation.

Invasive non-native species are ones that arrive as a result of human action and cause environmental and economic damage. They pose a significant threat to ecosystems as well as damaging property and infrastructure. Existing law does not contain sufficient powers to allow for their timely and effective control or eradication. Our recommendations in relation to species control orders will allow for a proportionate and necessary response to an increasing problem.

UK — Communique: strengthening the cyber security of our essential services

February 21, 2014 Comments off

Communique: strengthening the cyber security of our essential services
Source: Cabinet Office, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and National security and intelligence

A joint communique from ministers, senior officials and regulators sets out steps to address cyber security challenges for essential services.

Handling ethical problems in counterterrorism: An inventory of methods to support ethical decisionmaking

February 21, 2014 Comments off

Handling ethical problems in counterterrorism: An inventory of methods to support ethical decisionmaking
Source: RAND Corporation

This document presents the findings of a study into methods that may help counterterrorism professionals make decisions about ethical problems. The study was commissioned by the Research and Documentation Centre (Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en Documentatiecentrum, WODC) of the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice (Ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie), on behalf of the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (Nationaal Coördinator Terrorismebestrijding en Veiligheid, NCTV). The study provides an inventory of methods to support ethical decision-making in counterterrorism, drawing on the experience of other public sectors — healthcare, social work, policing and intelligence — and multiple countries, primarily the Netherlands and United Kingdom.

The report introduces the field of applied ethics; identifies key characteristics of ethical decision-making in counterterrorism; and describes methods that may help counterterrorism professionals make decisions in these situations. Finally, it explores how methods used in other sectors may be applied to ethical decision-making in counterterrorism. It also describes the level of effectiveness that can be expected from the various methods. The report is based on a structured literature search and interviews with professionals and academics with expertise in applied ethics.

This report will be of interest to counterterrorism professionals who are responsible for strengthening ethical decision-making in their organisation. It may also provide insights for counterterrorism professionals who seek new methods to help them make ethical decisions. The findings may additionally be relevant for professionals in other sectors, if complemented with a review of decision-making characteristics in their sector of specialism.

“Donkey Flights”: Illegal Immigration from the Punjab to the United Kingdom

February 7, 2014 Comments off

“Donkey Flights”: Illegal Immigration from the Punjab to the United Kingdom (PDF)
Source: Migration Policy Institute

The facilitation of illegal immigration is big business in India. One method being used to exploit immigration loopholes, explored in this report, is referred to as “donkey flights”—the practice of Indian migrants obtaining a tourist visa for a Schengen-zone country in order to enter the United Kingdom through the back door via other European countries.

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