By Tim Montgomerie
The Reform think tank runs an annual Reformer of the Year award. Last year's winner was Heather Brooke, campaigner for reform of MPs' expenses.
This year's nominations are below:
- Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP, who called for the Government to curb its pledge to increase NHS spending in real terms year on year. Mr Burnham drew attention to the fact that higher spending on the NHS would mean real damage to other services, like social care, despite admitting that his call was "counter-intuitive" for a Shadow Health Secretary.
- Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, for arguing that middle class benefits should not be sacrosanct. He has noted that in the current fiscal environment continuing to protect universal welfare payments like the Child Benefit and Winter Fuel Allowance is unworkable and has stated a determination to "reverse the trend of making families as ever more dependent on the state."
- Sophia Christie, Chief Executive of NHS Birmingham East and North, who criticised politicians for defending the "19th century infrastructure" of the NHS and explained that real reform could deliver improvements and quality and "save a lot of public money."
- Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, who announced plans to phase out the default retirement age and raise the state pension age in line with life expectancy, with a rise to 66 as early as 2016. Mr Duncan Smith said: "Now is absolutely the right time to live up to our responsibility to reform our outdated pension system and to take action where the previous government failed to do so."
- Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, who put pressure on the Chancellor to specify spending cuts in the 2010 Budget or risk a damaging backlash from the markets. In the face of rising unemployment, and as others suggested that cuts would damage the British economy further and lead to a double dip recession, Mr King held firm and said it was vital for the Government to tackle Britain's record peace-time deficit.
- Brian Lenihan TD, the Irish Finance Minister, for grasping the nettle on the Irish public finances. He announced plans to reduce spending by 4 billion Euros, around 7 per cent of the annual budget and rejected tax increases as a means of closing the budget deficit. The measures successfuly restored the faith of investors in Ireland.
- Rt Hon Theresa May MP, for announcing a package of radical reforms to the police service. She encouraged citizens to play a greater role in policing their own communities, and ordered an overall review of police pay.
Vote by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I voted for IDS but for his role in welfare-to-work rather than pensions reform.