The thoughts that count - the best of global thought leadership (October 2022)

What will the public services we use look like in the future? The Serco Institute’s monthly digest – The Thoughts That Count – pulls together some of the best thinking on public services policy from across the world.

Public services & public policy

'Austerity' in public services: lessons from the 2010s – Institute for Government (UK)

The paper says finding £40bn of day-to-day departmental spending cuts relative to current plans by 2026/27 would require budgets to fall by 7.8% in real terms (2% per year) over the next four years – the same level as 2010-2015. Even cuts of £20bn would still require tighter budgets than delivered in the 2015 spending review period. 

Performance Tracker 2022 – Institute for Government (UK)

This stocktake reveals that public services won’t have returned to pre-pandemic performance by the next election, which in most cases was already worse than when the Conservatives came to power in 2010. The IfG shows that significant backlogs continue in courts and hospitals, among other services.

The EU and the creative and destructive impact of crises – Carnegie Europe (Europe)

This article examines the role and impact of various crises on the European Union. While crises have often proved to be instrumental steppingstones towards further integration, they have not always led to greater unity. This paper analyses the role of various crises in affecting the EU with a specific focus on the key element of solidarity amongst member states, and how this has evolved over the years.

Learning from the Truss disaster – New Zealand Initiative (New Zealand)

This piece looks at the importance of good fiscal management, how hard it is to reverse damage to fiscal reputation and credibility, and that supply-side reforms do not equal tax cuts. Truss has shown the world how not to do policy, and that remains her only political achievement.

Time to make voting mandatory? – Maxim Institute (New Zealand)

This piece addresses the fact that there is currently no incentive to turn out to vote for many New Zealanders. It asserts that mandatory voting addresses the symptom but will leave the root causes untreated. These root causes must be understood and fixed so that turnout does not fall to the point where democratic legitimacy is lost.

Economy & inflation

A Rotten Money Regime is Responsible for Pandemic and War Inflation – Hudson Institute (USA)

The Hudson Institute argues that the ‘rotten monetary regime’ of the 2% inflation standard is ultimately responsible for the inflation experienced by the US in 2021 and 2022. This standard has, the article argues, produced bad outcomes such as economic ‘sclerosis’ and sluggish growth rates in productivity and living standards, even unrelated to the pandemic and war. Furthermore, under the current ‘bad’ money regime in the US, there is no end immediately sight for inflation.

Against Antitrust Regulation – American Enterprise Institute (USA)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is set to issue antitrust regulations, a move which the AEI argues is not within the bounds of the power delegated to the FTC by Congress, and which this paper argues is an ‘extravagant’ move to regulate the entire US economy which is in breach of the constitutional separation of powers.

What Surplus? Assessing State-Local Government Aid After a Decade of Austerity – Roosevelt Institute (USA)

The Roosevelt Institute argues that the federal aid distributed to state and local governments during the Covid-19 pandemic should be seen not solely as a response to the pandemic, but as funds to help address the decade-long shortfall in state and local funding and to help plug the spending gaps left after the Great Recession and ensuing inadequate recovery.

Federal Reserve: High Pay, Low Performance – Cato Institute (USA)

Inflation in the US is currently running at 8%, well above the Federal Reserve’s target 2%. This, many economists argue, is due to excess federal spending, supply chain disruptions, and misjudgements by the Fed.

Inflation: A Primer – Australia Institute (Australia)

With inflation in Australia rising at rates not seen in many years, the Australia Institute has put together some policy conclusions which should be taken into account by the Commonwealth Government, the Reserve Bank of Australia and other stakeholders. These are that: inflation targeting since 1993 in Australia has not been ‘neutral’; that there is no evidence that a tight labour market or other rising labour costs have anything to do with the post-Covid rise in inflation; and that the current inflation rates represent a ‘perfect storm’ of unique events set in motion by the Covid pandemic.

How have sanctions impacted Russia? – Bruegel (Europe)

A paper that examines the net impact of Western sanctions imposed on the Russian economy in response to the war in Ukraine. The authors conclude that Russian fiscal revenues have not suffered sufficiently to inflict a tangible damage on the Russian economy as of now; this is because of prudent measures by Russia’s Central Bank and because the sanctions are likely to be more effective in the long term. However, the paper also argues that the breadth of sanctions will pose real danger to the Russian economy in the medium to long term, especially considering that this effect is coupled with the growing, gnawing impact of Western firms leaving and EU countries decoupling from their dependence on Russian gas.

Population and the Fiscal Outcomes of Subnational Jurisdiction – Fraser Institute (Canada)

A report that looks at the relationship between population size and fiscal outcomes. Considering both US states and Canadian provinces, using three decades of data, the authors of the report conclude that, over a certain population threshold, there is a relationship between population size and the size of government as a share of the economy. The report also outlines the impact of population size on debt, consumption taxes and income taxes.

Taxation

The UK’s International Tax Competitiveness 2022 Update – Centre for Policy Studies (UK)

Responding to the announcement that the UK has been ranked 26th out of 38 OECD countries in terms of tax competitiveness, this report calls for the UK Government to design a more growth-friendly fiscal set-up. 

War Gains: LNG Windfall Profits 2022 – Australia Institute (Australia)

With the war in Ukraine and resulting restrictions on Russia’s gas exports, the Australia Institute calculates the windfall profits made by Australia’s LNG companies in 2021-22 to be roughly $26-40 billion. The Australian Government is yet to announce a windfall tax on these profits, despite such a move being likely to raise around $20 billion, enough to fund the Government’s entire $20 billion investment into its Rewiring the Nation initiative to modernise Australia’s electricity grid while still leaving funds to help shield consumers and businesses from spiralling energy costs.

Downward Revision of Investment Decisions after Corporate Tax Hikes – Cato Institute (USA)

With state intervention around the world having risen in recent years due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, public debt is also rising and governments are looking for ways to generate more revenue. Many are looking to raise taxes on individuals and firms, but the Cato Institute contends that this creates a trade-off: while higher taxes may lead to additional tax revenues in the short term, in the long term they may reduce investment and limit economic growth, thus ultimately reducing tax revenues.

Corporation tax and investment – Institute for Fiscal Studies (UK)

Written in the context of the new largely withdrawn mini-Budget, this IFS paper explores why business investment struggles in the UK, despite having a low corporation tax rate. It concludes that stability is key and offers some options for structural reforms to corporation tax, which the IFS says will remove distortions created by the current system.

Measuring progressivity in Canada’s tax system, 2022 – Fraser Institute (Canada)

A paper that analyses fiscal policy, looking at how progressive Canada’s tax system is and what consequences this has for businesses and individuals. The authors conclude that the top 20% of income earners pay nearly two-thirds of all taxes; this dispels the misperception that top income earners do not pay their fair share.

Housing

Addressing the Affordable Housing Crisis Requires Expanding Rental Assistance and Adding Housing Units – Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (USA)

The median rent for newly leased units rose 32% between December 2017 and September 2022, with nearly all of this increase occurring in 2021 and 2022. These rental increases are difficult for lower-income households to absorb. This paper calls upon federal, state and local policymakers to expand rental assistance, such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit programme, and bolster the supply of affordable housing.

Welfare

The Long Squeeze: Benefit uprating policy for April 2023 – Resolution Foundation (UK)

Considering the UK Government’s need to find ways to balance the books, the potential to stop uprating welfare support with inflation and match any rise to the growth rate of wages has been discussed publicly as an option. This paper explores the impact of this on public finance and the living standards of people receiving benefits.

Poverty in California – Public Policy Institute of California (USA)

Poverty in California fell nearly five points between 2019 and the autumn of 2021, this study finds, from 16.4% to 11.7%. Child poverty in particular nearly halved, dropping from 17.6% in 2019 to 9.0% in fall 2021 – this the study attributes to social security programmes such as expansions to the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the CalFresh food assistance programme. Despite this, over one in four Californians were still living in or near poverty by the autumn of 2021, and with the expansion of the CTC having expired, poverty is likely to have risen in 2022.

Child Tax Credit Improvements Must Come Before Corporate Tax Breaks – Center for American Progress (USA)

The expansion to the child tax credit (CTC) is credited with having lifted over 2 million American children out of poverty in 2021, leading the country’s child poverty rate to fall to a historic low of 5.2% (down from 9.7% in 2020). This article argues that Congress must not grant corporate tax breaks without also extending the CTC.

Sticking plasters: An assessment of discretionary welfare support – Resolution Foundation (UK)

This briefing note assesses discretionary welfare provision (i.e. ad hoc support for families) in the UK – a small but increasingly important part of the benefit system. It provides a “detailed analysis of changes in discretionary crisis and housing support over the past 20 years, and uses interviews with local authority employees and welfare advisers to draw lessons about current practice.”

Feeling the Benefit: How Universal Support Can Help Get Britain Working – Centre for Social Justice (UK)

The Government should re-allocate the £1.2 billion underspend on the Restart Scheme to roll out Universal Support nationally, the CSJ argues. Universal Support is an intervention “successfully piloted in 2014” – and the often forgotten ‘sister’ to Universal Credit – designed to help those facing barriers to the labour market into work and to overcome complex challenges holding them back in their lives.

Unclear Benefits: Reforming the Department for Work And Pensions – Adam Smith Institute (UK)

“The [UK’s social security] Department should be restructured with a small policy and legislation core and policies being delivered by executive agencies”. This would deliver significant staffing efficiencies, according to the Adam Smith Institute.

Employment & workforce

A closer look at a hot labor market – Brookings Institution (USA)

The Brookings Institution finds in this analysis that a high job opening to unemployment rate ratio overstates how tight the US labour market is, and that an unusually high proportion of hires are coming from people who were not unemployed and looking for work. While the pace of hiring is very high and pushing up wages and inflation, this analysis suggests that as the labour market returns to a more sustainable pace, the unemployment rate may not have to rise by as much as some have projected.

How Biden’s American-Style Industrial Policy Will Create Quality Jobs – Center for American Progress (USA)

Legislation passed by the Biden administration, including the Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, will, argues this article, incentivise the creation of good jobs, include job quality protections, and drive future economic growth by investing in the industries of the future.

Comparing government and private sector compensation in Atlantic Canada, 2021 – Fraser Institute (Canada)

Analysing data from individual workers over a timeframe from January to December 2021, this report concludes that “the government sector enjoys an advantage over the private sector”. Indeed, government sector workers in the Atlantic provinces enjoyed an 11.9% wage premium over their private sector counterparts. The report also explores some of the motivations for this, including unionized workers, pension plans and retirement age.

How much is long COVID reducing labor force participation? – Brookings Institution (USA)

This study by the Brookings Institution suggests that long Covid is not at this time having a significant impact on the US labour market. An estimated 420,000 workers aged 16-64 have likely left the labour market on account of long Covid, with a reasonable range equating to 0.2-0.4% of the labour force. However, while there is ‘scant’ evidence that the proliferation of remote working has increased labour force participation among people with disabilities, there may be a small positive effect on the labour force participation of 45-64-year-olds with disabilities, increasing the workforce by 121,000 workers.

Sharpening Canada’s Skills Advantage – Brookfield Institute (Canada)

What must Canada do to fill the skills gap that currently sets the country behind its competitors in innovation? This report, the first in a series, explores the specific skills that Canadian talent must develop. Specifically, it focuses on two types of skills: general and specialised; the former required broadly for innovation in all sectors, while the latter are required only for some people. The report presents insights for educators, businesses, and workers to help develop and channel talent.

Short and medium term sectoral employment forecasts 2021-2027 – European Trade Union Institute (Europe)

A working paper that provides forecasts of total changes in employment levels by sector, and by different labour force groups, in Europe in a time frame covering from 2022 to 2027. The forecasts have been generated under three different scenarios: an optimistic, a baseline, and an adverse one.

Four Ways America’s Retirement System is Failing Workers – Third Way (USA)

Only half of US workers have access to a retirement plan at their job, this study finds. The analysis furthermore shows that: retirement savings for the richest tenth of workers have increased 400% over the past 30 years, compared to just 30% for the lowest-paid fifth of workers; white households’ share of retirement wealth is 40% higher than their share of the population; black households with a bachelor’s degree have the same amount of retirement savings as white households with only a high school degree; and workers with a bachelor’s degree have 13 times the savings of those who did not finish high school.

Public spending, pay and pensions – Institute for Fiscal Studies (UK)

This paper sets out how, across multipole different areas, the public sector pay settlements – which decide compensation for many UK public servants – announced this July will pose severe budgetary challenges for many areas of government.

Recovery from COVID-19: The changing structure of employment in the EU – Eurofound (Europe)

The consequences of Covid on labour markets have been painful but short-lived, with data showing that employment bounced back to pre-crisis levels within two years. This was due in no small part to substantial government intervention and EU-wide measures. This report analyses the legacy of Covid in different employment sectors, looking at what professions were hardest hit and what structural damage inflicted appears to be more permanent.

Immigration

Understanding the rise in Channel crossings – IPPR (UK)

This briefing based on interviews with key experts and stakeholders, including those with experience of crossing the Channel in small boats, as well as analysis of Home Office data. It sets out some of the potential factors explaining the recent rise, gives an overview of the Government's approach up till now and assesses its potential implications.

Immigrant Labor and the Institutionalization of the U.S.-Born Elderly – Cato Institute (USA)

The US population is ageing, with over-65s set to outnumber under-18s by 2034 for the first time in the country’s history. The vast majority of elderly Americans report preferring to age in place, i.e. ageing in their own homes, to moving into institutions or care homes. With immigrants making up a disproportionate share of workers in healthcare and household services, this Cato study examines what immigration may have on elderly Americans’ prospects of being able to age in place.

A Broken Home: Why it’s Time to Split up the Home Office – Adam Smith Institute (UK)

The Home Office should be broken up into two “more manageable” departments – focussed on immigration and security. This would bring more clarity and a more focussed approach to both policy areas, the Adam Smith Institute says.

Shifting views: Tracking attitudes to immigration in 2022 – British Future (UK)

Examining how attitudes in the UK are shifting towards immigration, this report finds that people generally a positive about the impacts of immigration to the country. For example, the report finds that “at almost a quarter (24 per cent), the proportion of people who think that the number of migrants coming to Britain should be increased is also at the highest ever recorded in seven years of the tracker survey; and at 42% the proportion who think it should be reduced at its lowest”.

Taking Immigration Seriously: Real Solutions to Complex Challenges at the Border – Center for American Progress (USA)

This report condemns the ‘rhetoric of xenophobia’ centring on an ‘invasion’ at the southern US border, arguing instead that the Biden administration has made the issue of irregular migration a top priority, discussing how irregular migration has risen across the Western Hemisphere, and analysing actions the US Government has taken to address the root causes pushing people in Central and South America to leave their homes.

Processing Backlogs in the U.S. Immigration System: Describing the Scale of the Problem – Cato Institute (USA)

There are roughly 24 million cases in the US immigration system, evidencing that the system is actually unable to implement existing policies put in place by Congress and the executive. This, the Cato Institute argues, shows that backlogs are due chiefly to inefficiencies in the system’s processes which have caused wait times and backlogs to grow in the past decade, and that the agencies responsible for the problem will also be responsible for solving it.

Health & social care

Policy Decisionmaking in Long-Term Care – RAND Corporation (USA)

With infection control policies during the Covid-19 pandemic not having taken into account the needs and preferences of long-term care patients, RAND’s new report makes the case for cultural change in the long-term care sector and a shift towards inclusive policymaking, through a review of infection-control policy decisions and action items with input from a range of stakeholders.

Poverty and the health and care system: The role of data and partnership in bringing change – The King's Fund and Centre for Progressive Policy (UK)

In this long-read article, researchers from two institutions set out how health and care systems can mitigate, reduce and prevent poverty’s effects on health, but to do this they need to be much better at sharing and acting on data.

Why do diagnostics matter? Maximising the potential of diagnostics services – The King's Fund (UK)

This briefing explores the role that diagnostics play in underpinning much of the activity that takes place in the health and care system, the policy focus to date and where attention is needed to ensure diagnostic capacity and capability are fit for the future.

Trimming the Fat: Reforming the Department of Health and Social Care – Adam Smith Institute (UK)

The close relationship between the Department of Health and Social Care and the NHS should become more distinct, and a number of ‘duplicative’ agencies should be merged, this paper argues.

Falling short: How far have we come in improving support for unpaid carers in England? – Nuffield Trust (UK)

Despite “laudable policy statements in support of carers” this report looks at how the policy history and latest data shows that the “reality for unpaid carers has been one of diminishing help over time”.

Challenging the mental health crisis – RSA (UK)

Examining worsening young people’s mental health in the context of the cost of living crisis, this paper examines how cash interventions, such as Universal Basic Income, could assist.

The cost of caring: poverty and deprivation among residential care workers in the UK – Health Foundation (UK)

This analysis of recent survey data finds that over a quarter of the UK’s residential care workers lived in, or were on the brink of, poverty. Nearly 1 in 10 experienced food insecurity. And around 1 in 8 children of residential care workers were ‘materially deprived’, meaning they may not have access to essential resources such as fresh fruit and vegetables or adequate winter clothing.

Defence & national security

Responding to foreign interference in the EU: beware of unintended consequences – Carnegie Europe (Europe)

This paper explores the European Parliament’s newfound commitment to respond to foreign interference in the domestic affairs of the West. It stresses that tightening restrictions on foreign funding and individuals is a valid approach, but one that must be exercised with much caution. Indeed, the authors suggest that lawmakers should tackle this challenge “without eroding civic spaces or limiting support for civil society”.

The Role of Information in U.S. Concepts for Strategic Competition – RAND Corporation (USA)

The RAND Corporation suggests that the US should abandon the traditional assumption of a dichotomy between peace and war, with competition in today’s world usually taking place in the grey zone between. This paper sets out some of the grey zone activities which support competition and presents solutions to enhance the US’ competitive position in the grey zone and beyond.

Submission: Defence strategic review – Australia Institute (Australia)

“The review’s Terms of Reference do not specifically address the underlying principles of Australia’s strategic policy. However, its intentions—to examine force disposition, preparedness, strategy and associated investments—themselves require some reaffirmation of the basic principles of Australia’s strategic policy. A strategic policy that places a premium on expeditionary deployment of Australian forces in pursuit of Australia’s strategic interests will invoke quite different decisions on force structure and associated force posture than would a strategic policy that places a clear emphasis on the ability to act in the direct defence of Australia.”

The New US National Security Strategy: Battling China for Technological Leadership – Centre for European Reform (Europe)

A paper that analyses the US’s latest National Security Strategy, a document published in October of this year, and draws insights from the strategic repositioning of the US towards China. The author argues that despite the great challenge posed by the War in Ukraine, the new US National Security Strategy focuses primarily on China. The paper concludes that the new strategy explores the role of technology in depth yet neglects to consider the relevance of trade for national security.

NATO Needs a New Strategy for the Baltic Sea – Hudson Institute (USA)

With Sweden and Finland poised to soon join NATO, the Atlantic alliance will, this paper argues, need to develop plans to acknowledge this new reality in the Baltic Sea and a comprehensive approach to security which considers the whole region, rather than dividing it into ‘Baltic’ and ‘Nordic’ camps. Steps to achieve this could include updating NATO’s contingency plans in the Baltic Sea region; establishing a NATO battlegroup in Finland; increasing the alliance’s maritime presence in the Baltic Sea; establishing a permanent military presence in the Baltic states; and establishing a Baltic Sea Air Defence mission.

‘Integrated Deterrence’ Is Not So Bad – Center for Strategic and International Studies (USA)

The CSIS unpacks the concept of ‘integrated deterrence’, a concept at the heart of the US Department of Defence’s recently released 2022 National Defence Strategy. The concept is based on the notion that an effective deterrence strategy derives in part from effective political communications to strategic adversaries signalling a government’s willingness and intent to act decisively if an adversary should cross a red line.

The EU should abandon chip nationalism – Centre for European Reform (Europe)

As the US seeks to compete with China’s chip manufacturing capabilities – see Biden’s championing of the recent ‘CHIPS Act 2022’ – this paper argues that the EU should not follow suit, subsidising its own semiconductor manufacturers, but rather focus on “better and more realistic alternatives”.

Rocket’s Red Glare: Modernizing America’s Energetics Enterprise – Hudson Institute (USA)

This report concerns the US’ energetics industry: energetics are ‘critical chemicals that release huge amounts of energy in a very short amount of time’, and most modern weapons rely on some form of energetic materials. Improvements in energetics could aid the US military realise many of its operational concepts, such as those developed to counter China’s People’s Liberation Army and, ultimately, aiding the defence of Taiwan. However, despite innovations in the late 1980s, the US Armed Forces still overwhelmingly use the same energetic materials in use during the Second World War, and the Pentagon still imports one-third of its energetic materials from foreign sources, including China.

Securing UK Defence Procurement to Meet 21st Century Challenges from Present Threats – Henry Jackson Society (UK)

This report highlights that the British military is facing supply chain issues as a result of underfunding and a lack of purchasing from some suppliers, meaning crucial weapons are no longer being produced. The author outlines that despite this, there is an opportunity for the UK to become a leading defence power.

Digital & tech

Byting Back: The EU’s digital alliance with Latin America and the Caribbean – European Council on Foreign Relations (Europe)

This report explores what role the EU could take in Latin America and the Caribbean to contrast the growing influence of China and Russia in the region. Specifically, the authors point to the prominent role of digital technologies as a way to deepen political ties with Latin American countries and embed cooperation on shared values. Establishing a framework to collaborate on cyber-security and increased connectivity represents an opportunity for the EU to take advantage of.

Levelling up & regeneration

Does funding follow need? An analysis of the geographic distribution of public spending in England – Institute for Fiscal Studies and Health Foundation (UK)

This first in a series of papers sets out how the UK Government allocates funding to different services and localities across England. It argues that there is “increasingly robust evidence” that the amount of funding such services receive matters particularly for the outcomes they deliver for people from more deprived backgrounds.

Making places: The role of regeneration in levelling up – Centre for Cities (UK)

This report argues that for the UK Government's regeneration schemes to “succeed they should focus on city centres and be backed by public funding and planning reform”.

Levelling up: what England thinks – UK in a Changing Europe (UK)

In the largest survey of its kind on the issue of ‘levelling up’ explores some of the concepts and policies around regional policy and regeneration. Amongst many interesting statistics, it finds that, over half of respondents believe that their local area gets significantly less government spending and investment than it deserves.

Energy & net zero

The Pathway to Industrial Decarbonization – Center for American Progress (USA)

The industrial sector accounts for 30% of US emissions; by 2030, it will be the single largest source of domestic emissions. To tackle climate change and reach net zero emissions by mid-century, therefore, it is imperative for the US to tackle industrial emissions and decarbonise the industrial sector: this paper makes several recommendations to achieve this, including people-focused stakeholder engagement, direct investment, ambitious administrative action and clear and connected trade policy.

US-Saudi Relations: Oil & Energy – Gulf Research Centre (KSA)

A paper that focuses on the recent divergence in US and Saudi cooperation in the energy sector. The author argues that while energy relations are still currently robust, attention must be paid to avoid further distance between the countries.

State-sponsored Greenwash – Australia Institute (Australia)

“The fossil fuel industry and major emitters have set Australia’s policy agenda on climate. The result is a comprehensive policy framework where misleading climate claims by industry are not only accepted, they are actively sponsored by Federal Government.”

Decarbonising Hong Kong’s roads: Pathways towards a net-zero road transport system – Civic Exchange (Hong Kong)

This report provides a feasibility analysis on Hong Kong’s decarbonisation of road transport and offers recommendations for the government, private sector, and civil society. The message from Civic Exchange is clear: we can only achieve net zero in the transportation sector if government and society take collective action immediately.

A new climate for peace: How Europe can promote environmental cooperation between the Gulf Arab states and Iran – European Council on Foreign Relations (Europe)

This report argues for Europe to advance its strategic interests in de-escalating tensions between Iran and the Gulf Monarchies by focusing on shared environmental goals. Europe should use climate as a forum to bring together Iran and the Gulf States and set a virtuous example of collaboration that can be used to foster dialogue and renewed diplomatic ties in other areas as well.

Saudi Arabia developing a partnership with China – Gulf Research Centre (KSA)

As relations between KSA and China reach their 30th year anniversary, this paper explores where China and Saudi Arabia are currently cooperating, namely in the energy sector, and what new opportunities for closer cooperation may arise in the future. The author argues that new ties could form and strengthen depending on how the relationship with the US progresses. Saudi Arabia should, in any case, try to avoid being caught in the middle of great power competition and strive instead to maintain room for choice.

Bill shock – Menzies Research Centre (Australia)

The Menzies Research Centre argues that the Labor Government’s pro-renewables policies will further increase the cost of energy in Australia, claiming that in all European countries and US states where wind and solar energy are increasing their share of the energy market, consumers are seeing higher electricity prices. The coming electricity shock could, therefore, cost Labor victory at Australia’s next election.

Transport

Understanding the trajectory of Urban and Transport Development in Riyadh  – King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre (KSA)

A report that looks at the development of new urban transport networks in KSA’s capital city of Riyadh. As a car-dominated city since the 1950s, with a further increase in car use following the economic boom in the 1970s, Riyadh is now moving towards developing more public transport links.

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