Public Finance

Articles from September 2006

Brown's Investment Rule at Risk as PFI Debts Go on the Books
The Office of National Statistics has recalculated public sector net debt to include Private Finance Initiative deals in a move that threatens the chancellor s sustainable investment rule.The recalculation involves 'imputing' the current debt element...
Chat Show Tony
First it was the 'Big Conversation', and then it was ? ,et's Talk'. Now, it seems, we have progressed to 'let's have a chat among ourselves'.Despite being only 16 months on from the election and possibly a year away from a new I ,abour leader, Tony Blair...
Cops and Robbers
The police negotiating board appears to be singing from a Treasury-supplied hymn sheetWhat is the best way to judge an organisation's health? For a multinational company, you only have to reach for the latest share price to get a pretty good idea. The...
Doubts Cast over ONS Search for Efficiency Measure
A leading public finance expert has poured scorn on the latest attempt to establish a methodology for measuring service outcomes that will enjoy public trust, warning that official statistics are already beyond repair.Tony Travers, director of the Greater...
Flexibility Key to Local Funding, Lyons Insists
Sir Michael Lyons has insisted that he has not ruled out relocalising the business rate - but admitted that it was not the answer to the problem of local government funding.Lyons, whose local government inquiry is due to report this year, dismissed reports...
Fools Rush In
Thanks to the drip-drip effect of stories in the press, a pervasive and damaging impression has been allowed to fester: that the public sector cannot run largescale information and communication technology projects. Across the NHS, local authorities...
Honesty Is the Best Policy
Manchester 2006: three very different Labour conferences are possible. The first is the 'hack's delight'. Chancellor Gordon Brown lays claim to the leadership on Monday, with coded attacks on Prime Minister Tony Blair's record. He wins a rapturous response...
HR Directors Exit Following Critical DCRs
Cabinet Office officials this week admitted that many of Whitehall's human resources functions are inadequate, after it emerged that the four HR directors whose departments were criticised in Capability Reviews this summer are set to leave their posts.Mike...
Letters
Sighthill is a worthy winnerI was really interested in Public Finance's Public Servants of the Year Awards, held in May this year. What really caught my eye was the report on the Outstanding Public Service Team of the Year, the staff of Sighthill Library...
LibDems Take a Green Turn on Tax Policies
The Liberal Democrats successfully shrugged off their image as a high tax-and-spend party after members endorsed radical proposals that shift the focus of taxation from income to wealth and pollution.Despite mutterings of rebellion, the Fairer, simpler,...
Local Government Proposals Provoke Delegates' Wrath
The Liberal Democrat frontbench suffered a humiliation over local government when members threw out policy proposals as lacking substance.In an excoriating speech to the conference on September 19, Richard Kemp, leader of the LibDem group at the Local...
News: In Brief
* Education minister Beverley Hughes has said that the target of 2,500 extended schools in place by September has been exceeded, with more than 3,000 offering access to extended services. 'Extended services not only benefit young people, their families...
Private Sector Loses out in NHS Policy Shift
Health secretary Patricia Hewitt has removed the symbolic ceiling on private sector involvement in the NHS - but has also conceded an important element of finance policy that experts say will curtail the potential profits of private providers.The moves...
Prospect Warns against Cuts in Vital Public Science Research
The public sciences trade union, Prospect, has launched a national campaign to protect key research facilities from further closures.Prospect believes that government cuts to research bases could shortly 'denude the UK of expertise needed to defend against...
Revenue Staff Top Soaring Sick Leave Statistics
Sickness absence rates across the civil service rose last year, despite a blizzard of Whitehall initiatives to tackle the problem, the Cabinet Office has revealed.Whitehall staff took an average of 9.8 days off sick in 2005, compared with 9.1 days in...
Round-Up
The Cabinet Office has awarded five voluntary organisations almost £1m to increase volunteering among excluded groups. The funding will be spread over two years and will support programmes targeting people with physical or learning disabilities, those...
So Did Things Really Get Better?
Almost a decade ago, on a bright May morning, Tony Blair arrived in Downing Street to cheering crowds and ended 18 years of Conservative government. Blair was swept in on a mood of profound hope our predecessors at Demos went so far as to release a breathlessly...
Thousands of Lost Care Home Places 'Not Replaced'
Almost 3,500 public sector care home places for elderly and disabled people were lost last year and fewer than one third were replaced by independent provision, a report says.Care of elderly people UK market survey 2006, by analysts Laing and Buisson,...
We're Looking at Policies for the Future, Treasury Insists
The Treasury insisted this week that it has always intended to conduct a cross-government policy review to Identify the major challenges facing the UK over the next ten years.A spokesman for the department, responding to the news that Tony BIaIr was...
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