Public Finance

Articles from April 2007

Angry Nurses Threaten Industrial Action over Staged Award
Nurses have demanded a meeting with Chancellor Gordon Brown and Health secretary Patricia Hewitt as they threatened industrial action over this year's staged pay award.The Royal College of Nursing annual congress in Harrogate this week heard condemnations...
Children in Care White Paper 'Will Come out Early'
A white paper on children in care could be published earlier than anticipated as the government steps up the pace of change in this area, experts believe.A white paper had been expected ahead of the Queens Speech in the autumn. However, Caroline Abrahams,...
Councils Call for Best Value Audit Changes
Councils have called on Audit Scotland to change the way it conducts its Best Value audit process, the system that places a duty on local authorities to make continuous improvements in their performance.In a joint submission, the Convention of Scottish...
Deprived Schools 'Need More Cash'
Schools in deprived areas are not getting the extra money they need, London Councils has said in a report designed to influence the government's consultation on education funding.The April 16 report, Smarter fondingfor schools, argues that the system...
Don't Shot the Messenger
Are the British media a barrier to the development of good public policy? In recent weeks, two influential voices have argued that it is.In the Guardian, Polly Toynbee put the extreme case. The British press, she wrote, are 'the worst in the West'. She...
Dress Sense
The public sector is a significant employer and as such is continually striving to improve its human resources strategies. One HR area that has recently become controversial is dress at work. This can cover appearance, such as body piercings, tattoos,...
Economists Want Independent Fiscal Policy Body
Control of crucial UK fiscal policies - including oversight of the current government's 'golden rule' - should be handed over to an independent body, leading economists have urged.Writing for the centre-Right Policy Exchange think-tank, the economists...
Events
April* APRIL 24Civic conference - National Digital Inclusion conformeSpeakers include: Derek Wyatt MP, chair, All-Party Internet Group; Chief secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Timms MP; Joseph Bremer, e-inclusion team, European Commission; and David...
Fewer Doctors Performing Abortions
The NHS might have to ask nurses to perform abortions after a decline in the number of doctors willing to do so.The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said this week that it was concerned about the future of the abortion service. There...
IMF Gives Brown's Economic Record the Seal of Approval
He's a 'Stalinist', grumpy, tax-and-spend loner who has suppressed public sector wages, hidden national liabilities and pillaged our pension pots. Chancellor Gordon Brown this week even faced a parliamentary no-confidence vote over his judgement.But...
Johnson Defends Enforced Schooling Up to 18
Education Secretary Alan Johnson has defended controversial proposals to force young people to stay in education until the age of 18.Appearing in front of the Commons' education and skills select committee on April 18, Johnson said he was 'not going...
MPs Alarmed at Late NHS IT System
The Department of Health's controversial National Programme for IT risks setting back the NHSs information system for years and has no back-up plan if it fails, the Commons Public Accounts Committee has said.'The programme is not looking good,' said...
NAO Slates Consultants' Contract as Something-for-Nothing Deal
The controversial NHS consultants' contract introduced in 2003 was a something-for-nothing deal that increased average salaries by more than £23,000 but led to doctors doing less work, the National Audit Office has said.The spending watchdog also found...
Oui, Monsieur le Ministre
The Journalist Simon Jenkins once argued that 'the British pride themselves on their ignorance of politics abroad... any suggestion that foreign experience might have application here is ridiculed'.This claim is borne out by the Institute for Public...
Plan to Bring in Immigrants' Points System Condemned
Campaigners have attacked the introduction of an Australian-style immigration system, which they say ignores the plight of many highly skilled migrants who are already resident in the UK.Immigration minister Liam Byrne this week announced the timetable...
Round-Up
* Head teachers have hit out at a think-tank's claims that they have only a limited impact on pupil learning. Research published by the Right-of-centre Policy Exchange on April 16 found no clear pattern of improvement following a change of head teacher....
Shared Services Projects 'Do Not Cut Staff Levels'
Local government staffing levels have been largely unaffected by the growth in shared services, according to a report from the Improvement and Development Agency.An IDA survey of 32 council chief executives and human resources directors found that most...
Take a Letter
Gordon Brown is fond of quoting the old adage that there are two types of chancellor: 'those whose careers end in failure and those who get out in time.Brown is clearly aiming for the latter, but he could have his work cut out. This week he faced down...
The German Patient
Germany is a nation known for its feats of engineering design. Vorsprung durch Technik used to be the proud boast.But in recent years this fabled technical expertise has started to let it down and the German health care system is no longer the well-oiled,...
Unions Team Up to Fight Pay and Reform Policies
Swathes of public sector staff could be on a collision course with the government after a union leader said the Trades Union Congress is in 'serious discussions' over co-ordinated industrial action against government reforms.Public sector union leaders...
Welsh Labour Sets out to Woo Voters
The Labour Party in Wales, which fears losing control of the Welsh Assembly in the May 3 elections, accused its rivals of not presenting coherent proposals for new laws.In a manifesto presentation on April 16, Welsh Labour loader Khoclri Morgan set out...
Where Do We Go from Here?
When Tony Blair and Ruth Kelly set out their vision of revitalised local authorities working with partners to 'reshape public services around citizens and communities', Herefordshire Council decided to act. Taking a cue from the warm words of the prime...
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