Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Devolution has meant growing policy differences between Scotland, Wales and England

18.03.2005


Significantly different approaches to key public policy issues have emerged in Scotland and Wales since devolution, as the new administrations in Edinburgh and Cardiff have rejected consumer choice and diversity in favour of professionalism and uniformity.



This is one of the key findings in a new study by researchers from the University of Aberdeen and Cardiff University. Their research was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, as part of its Devolution and Constitutional Change Programme.

Michael Keating, Professor of Scottish Politics at the University of Aberdeen, explains: “The Labour Party may be the dominant political force in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff. But Scotland and Wales have stuck more to the traditional social democratic model of public service delivery.


“This has led them to stress non-selectivity, professionalism and uniformity, while rejecting foundation hospitals, star-rated hospitals, school league tables, beacon councils, elite universities and selective schools. Scotland also scrapped up-front university tuition fees and rejected top-up fees. At the same time, free care for the elderly has been introduced north of the border.”

The researchers identified several factors which may explain this difference. “There’s a different policy style in Scotland and Wales, where there is a much greater emphasis on the public sector professional,” says co-researcher John Loughlin, Professor of European Studies at Cardiff University.

“And those professionals tend to be more supportive than their English counterparts of universal services. There are also different political pressures. Polling evidence suggests that Scottish voters are somewhat more supportive of redistribution than English voters. More importantly, Labour in Scotland and Wales faces more competition from the left, through nationalist parties and the Scottish Socialists. In England, the government needs to appeal to the middle classes who otherwise might opt out of the welfare state.”

A quarter of the population in the South East of England has private medical insurance, compared to just ten per cent of Scots. And eleven per cent of SE pupils go to private schools, compared with just three per cent of Scottish pupils.

The researchers looked in detail at higher education and rural policies. “In higher education, the differences extended beyond fees, particularly in Scotland,” says Prof Keating. “Scottish policy makers tend to work collaboratively with the universities. They never had the sort of ‘naming and shaming’ which the Quality Assurance Agency inspections brought in England, focusing on co-operative approaches to improving performance instead.”

Prof Loughlin adds: “And while the English approach has emphasised management, regulation and differentiation, the Scottish approach has stressed professional autonomy, consensus, egalitarianism and policy learning. Though Wales is more constrained than Scotland, it too has sought to develop a more egalitarian approach to higher education.”

Two aspects of rural policy were particularly important: reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and the response to the 2001 foot and mouth crisis.

“The presence of the Liberal Democrats in the coalition led the Scottish government to take a more pro-farmer position than England,” adds Prof Keating. “Pressure from hill farmers meant they were cool about the idea being suggested that a proportion of farmers’ payments be set aside for a rural development fund. With extra Treasury funding, it was able to develop a different approach to the new system and negotiate variations in European Union policy for Scotland.”

Prof Loughlin adds: “Welsh ministers felt constrained both by the limits of devolution and EU law from setting up their own emergency services, which they believe could have eradicated foot and mouth disease more quickly, and from treating Welsh cattle differently. However, devolution proved particularly effective in Northern Ireland, where the agriculture minister quickly closed the ports and secured cross-community co-operation to eradicate the disease more speedily than the rest of the UK.”

Becky Gammon | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Sibling differences: Later-borns choose less prestigious programs at university
14.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

nachricht Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ
09.11.2017 | Vanderbilt University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Error-free into the Quantum Computer Age

A study carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Physical Review X shows that ion-trap technologies available today are suitable for building large-scale quantum computers. The scientists introduce trapped-ion quantum error correction protocols that detect and correct processing errors.

In order to reach their full potential, today’s quantum computer prototypes have to meet specific criteria: First, they have to be made bigger, which means...

Im Focus: Search for planets with Carmenes successful

German and Spanish researchers plan, build and use modern spectrograph

Since 2016, German and Spanish researchers, among them scientists from the University of Göttingen, have been hunting for exoplanets with the “Carmenes”...

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Single-photon detector can count to 4

18.12.2017 | Information Technology

Quantum memory with record-breaking capacity based on laser-cooled atoms

18.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How much soil goes down the drain -- New data on soil lost due to water

18.12.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>