Public Finance

Articles from January 2008

Blears' Local Petitions 'Could Be Hijacked by Extremists'
Plans to compel local authorities to respond to any petition signed by 250 residents could be 'hijacked' by extremist groups such as the British National Party, the Local Government Association has warned.Communities Secretary Hazel Blears launched the...
Chancellor Warned over New Threats to Public Finances
Chancellor Alistair Darling will have to raise taxes or significantly reduce public spending if the government presses ahead with plans to reduce immigration levels, a think-tank has claimed.The warning from the institute for Public Policy Research is...
CIPFA Members Recognised in New Year Honours
Three CIPFA members were among representatives of the public services honoured in the New Year.Alastair MacNish, who retired in November as chair of the Accounts Commission for Scotland, received an OBE for services to local government.MacNish became...
Commission Possible
Too many children in the UK do not get the chance to fulfil their potential, despite the impressive progress that many schools and local authorities have made. We need to raise standards further if all children are to have the best possible start in...
Councils Challenge Audit Fees Rise
Local authorities have attacked the Audit Commission's 'unacceptable' plan to hike its audit fees by up to a third by 2011 and are fighting a last-ditch battle to kill off the proposals.The public spending watchdog's plans to implement above-inflation...
Councils Must Comply with IFRS by 2010
All local authorities will be expected to prepare their annual accounts in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards from April 2010, CIPFA has announced.The institute has settled on a two-year preparation period to allow the development...
CSR Funds Put Almos Back on Track for Home Repairs
Most council-owned housing companies are back on course to achieve the decent homes target after receiving £400m more than expected from the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review.Before the review, some arm's-length management organisations were in danger...
Defend the PFI, Business Warns SNP
The Private Finance Initiative is delivering real benefits but needs sustained political will and the right environment to succeed, business leaders have told a Scottish Parliament inquiry into capital investment.In a paper submitted to the Parliament...
Democracy Begins at Home
These have been a bad few months for democracy. Christmas was dominated by grim news from Kenya and Pakistan. Russia and South Africa are also causing concern. It appears that the global march of liberal, multiparty politics is halted, if not reversed.For...
Healthcare Commission Head Slams Merger Plans
Healthcare Commission chair Sir Ian Kennedy has hit out at plans to merge his organisation with two other regulatory bodies, warning MPs that the move could 'set back development of a culture of safety'.The proposed merger with the Commission for Social...
Labour 'Failing Poor Working Families'
Charities campaigning against child poverty have thrown their weight behind a think-tank report that highlights Labour's failure to help poor children from working families.Research by the Institute for Public Policy Research shows that the number of...
Marry in Haste
Revenue & Customs is in a mess. It has lost 25 million personal data files, had six previous 'significant' data losses, been accused by the accountancy institutes of delaying new companies' VAT registrations by months and failed to meet ministers'...
Pressure Grows to Reform Care for the Elderly
The government has come under renewed pressure to introduce root-and-branch reform of long-term care for elderly people, following the publication of a report criticising means testing and the postcode lottery of care.The consultation of 700 service...
Round-Up
The former head of communications watchdog Ofcom, Stephen Carter, has been appointed chief of strategy and principal adviser to Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Carter, currently chief executive of communications firm Brunswick Group, will earn a salary...
Rushed Public Sector Change Is 'Recipe for Failure'
The government should radically slow down the pace of public sector upheaval, a coalition of former mandarins said this week.The Better Government Initiative said many notorious government failures, including the creation of bodies such as the Child...
Scottish Councils to Register Their Common Good Assets
Councils in Scotland are to be required to establish registers of assets held under the Common Good, an ancient system of safeguarding property and land that was administered by the former burghs on behalf of local people.The move follows guidance from...
Seeing Is Believing
The public private partnerships programme, which includes Private Finance Initiative projects, is making a major contribution to improving services and modernising the public sector asset base.However, any member of the public could be forgiven for thinking...
Spoiling for a Fight?
The prime minister s New Year message is traditionally an upbeat, forward-looking affair. 2008 was no exception. In urgent need of a comeback-kid vision, Gordon Brown focused on security, stability and some eye-catching measures on preventative health.For...
Superbug Strategy Is Spelled Out
Hospital trusts that fail to tackle superbug outbreaks will not be granted foundation status, Health secretary Alan Johnson said this week as he announced a new strategy to control infections.The document Clean, safe care draws together existing and...
Thinking out of the Box
Council staff at Milton Keynes used to take 90 days on average to assess housing benefit claims - a level of performance that didn't do much for customer satisfaction. It certainly didn't impress the Benefits Fraud Inspectorate, which described the council's...
Unions Cynical about Three-Year Fixed Pay Deals
Union chiefs this week warned that clashes were inevitable if the government sticks to its guns in pushing through below-inflation fixed pay deals.Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Chancellor Alistair Darling began their New Year offensive by proposing...
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