Public Finance

Articles from March 2007

Admission Impossible?
Lecturing to the Royal Society of Arts this year, Robert Cialdini, a psychology professor from Arizona and the latest guru to enthral New Labour, explained that loss is a more powerful political weapon than gain. Promise people £50 if they insulate their...
Brown Move Could Bring PFI Scheme Debts 'On Balance Sheet'
The chancellor has paved the way for the majority of Private Finance Initiative schemes to be brought on to the public sector balance sheet - a move that could jeopardise his sustainable investment rule.From 2008/09, public sector financial statements...
Child Disability 'Is Linked to Poverty'
Benefits need to be made available for all disabled children and taken up by more families if the government is to eradicate child poverty by 2020, a leading thinktank has warned.The Institute for Public Policy Research this week highlighted a 'two-way...
Counting the Cost of the UK's Next Nuclear Deterrent
It wasn't quite a throwback to the Cold War era of rowdy Commons debates and campaigners chained to the gates of Greenham Common. But last week's rebellion over the UK's nuclear arsenal was still sizeable. It also drew a major parallel with the past:...
Education Spending to Rise by 2.5%
Teaching and school leaders have been muted in their response to a Budget that guarantees further real-terms increases in education spending, albeit at a much lower rate.After backing city academies at Prime Minister Tony Blair's policy review launch...
Events
The main eventMarch* MARCH 26CIPFA/Public Management and Policy Association conference Internationalising the accounting professions towards good governmentChair: Sir John Bourn, comptroller and auditor general, UK.Speakers include: David M Walker, comptroller...
First among Equals
It is a vital part of the public sector ethos that services respond to the needs of all citizens, regardless of race, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation. From senior managers to frontline workers, public servants need to demonstrate that they...
Going for Broke?
According to Sir Michael Lyons, council tax isn't broken, it's just been put under too much pressure. His government-commissioned report, eventually published this week, offers a logical analysis of how this pressure could be eased.Lyons eschews radical...
Housing Chief Takes Top Post at Croydon Council
Housing Corporation chief executive Jon Rouse is leaving his post this summer to lead Croydon council. His appointment as the London boroughs chief executive should be confirmed next week.Rouse, who will be only Croydon's sixth chief executive in 70...
Infrastructure for New Homes in Southeast 'Will Cost Billions'
Plans to build thousands of homes in Southeast England will land the government and local authorities with an extra bill running into billions of pounds, the Environment Agency warned this week.An average of £20,200 per home will be required, says a...
Local Services 'At Risk to Meet Savings'
Councils have warned that central government aspirations for a 100% increase in town hall cashable efficiency savings are unachievable without cuts in local services.The warning is given in the Local Government Association's submission to the Comprehensive...
Lyons' Report Proves Too Hot a Political Potato
Ministers have quickly rejected key recommendations from Sir Michael Lyons' review of local government, including a revaluation of property prices and an end to capping.Speaking in the aftermath of Lyons' long-awaited study, published alongside Chancellor...
MPs Slate NHS Staff Planning as 'Disastrous'
MPs have described the NHS's workforce planning as a 'disastrous failure' after discovering that it exceeded the planned number of nurses by 340% between 1999 and 2004.The Commons' health committee's report Workplace planning, published on March 22,...
One Small Step for Miliband
The fight to protect the planet took a huge stride forward last week when Environment Secretary David Miliband published his draft Climate Change Bill.This is the first attempt by any government to reduce the carbon footprint of a country through legislation,...
PFI Hospitals 'Costing NHS Extra £480M a Year'
The Private Finance Initiative could be costing the NHS an extra £480m a year as private equity providers enjoy a 58% return on their investment, according to research from Manchester Business School.An MBS report, The cost of using private finance to...
Playing a Supporting Role?
The level of direct government support for small business has mushroomed more than five-fold since the early 1980s.But, despite the huge injection of time and money from an array of public bodies, it is far from clear whether all this effort is having...
Round-Up
* The former head of the civil service, Lord Turnbull, has launched a swingeing attack on Chancellor Gordon Brown. In an interview with the Financial Times, Turnbull - who, as Sir Andrew Turnbull, was permanent secretary in the Treasury before going...
Tesco Cool on Plan to Host GPs
Doubts have been cast on the government's plans to place GP surgeries in supermarkets to help increase the number of doctors in deprived areas.This week Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said four underdoctored areas in Hartlepool, Durham, Ashfield and...
The Purging of Purdah
On March 19, I was one of a delegation from the all-party parliamentary betting and gaming group seeing Treasury minister John Healey about the taxation of online gambling. On March 21, Gordon Brown unveiled his last Budget.To those who have grown up...
Whitehall Faces Autumn Wait for CSR Settlements
Gordon Brown has been accused of 'sneaking out' the news that the Comprehensive Spending Review will be delayed until the autumn and of trying to 'close down" a public debate over its conclusions.David Gauke, a member of the influential Treasury select...
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