Public Finance

Articles from March 2008

A Better Breed of Budget
The budget cycle is a key process in all organisations. CIPFA has taken a hard look at the budgeting, forecasting, monitoring and reporting arrangements in place in most public bodies to assess how well they are working and whether they can deliver more...
A Matter of Facts
An NHS that promotes wellbeing, prevents ill health and provides high-quality, safe and convenient services to everyone who needs them is a vision everyone can sign up to.'World-class commissioning' is at the heart of this concept. It involves primary...
Councils to Be Empowered to Keep Money Raised from Rent
The government has given local authorities the green light to tear up the housing subsidy system and keep the money they raise in rents.An 18-month study into selffinancing by six councils shows they would operate more efficiently and find long-term...
Darling 'Must Raise Taxes to Meet Child Poverty Target'
Alistair Darling used his maiden Budget to focus the government's limited financial firepower on the fight to cut child poverty - but was warned he still has a mountain to climb to meet the 2010 target.The chancellor delivered his statement to the House...
Enterprise Strategy Focuses on Smaller Firms
A new system of regulatory budgets for Whitehall departments, setting out the cost of regulations that could be introduced in a given period, would be a world first', the government has claimed.The proposal is one of a series of measures in a ten-year...
Extra £200M Allocated to Bring GCSE Target Forward by a Year
Schools face increased pressure to produce good exam results after the chancellor brought forward the government's GCSE target by a year.Alistair Darling announced a £200m funding package to ensure that by 2011 no school should have fewer than 30% of...
First in Line
Peter Robinson met with Public Finance in the midst of the most tumultuous and politically significant period in Northern Ireland's recent times. Interviewed less than two weeks before Ian Paisley announced he will step down in May, it already seemed...
Inspectors Say CPS Still Improving
The performance of the Crown Prosecution Service continues to improve, with inspectors rating almost half of CPS areas as excellent or good.HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate this week published the results of its overall performance assessment...
It's Up to Us to Lead on Climate Change, Says LGA Chair
Councils must take the lead on climate change, the Local Government Association has warned.Launching its climate change campaign, Small Change, Big Difference, on March 13, LGA chair Sir Simon Milton called on local government to 'take the lead, from...
Letters
FDs must have direct line to CEsI asked for clarity on the role of finance directors ('Once more with feeling', Letters, February 22-28) and I am hugely grateful to Jon Pittam for just that.At first glance his letter (TDs for today's public services',...
O'Donnell Appeals for More Service Innovation
Public sector organisations must step up the pace of innovation and be prepared to take risks to do so, Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell has urged.Speaking on March 1 1 at a conference on transformational government, organised by the Cabinet Office,...
On the Bright Side
They may appear to be dour Scots, but both Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown share a rosy, if not rose-tinted, view of the economic prospects facing the country.In his first Budget this week as chancellor, Darling forecast a marginal slowdown in growth,...
Pay Your Taxes and Save the Planet
At some point most afternoons I find myself flicking through galleries of photos for possible inclusion in the next day's newspaper.There are the usual selection of bombings, crime scenes, politicians, the weather, celebrities, footballers and, increasingly,...
Round-Up
The costs of military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq this year are likely to almost double to £3297bn, a 94% increase on last year, the Commons defence select committee has warned. Spending on Iraq is likely to rise 72% to £1.648bn, despite a reduction...
Scots Councils Set for Stronger Role
Plans to strengthen and expand the constitutional role of local government in Scotland are being considered by ministers and council leaders.Finance Secretary John Swinney disclosed the joint discussions at the annual conference of the Convention of...
Swinney Claims Huge Savings from Local Tax
Scots would get their biggest tax cut in a generation under the Scottish National Party government's plans for a local income tax, Finance Secretary John Swinney has claimed.Launching a consultation paper on March 1 1, he said more than four out of five...
Treasury Fails to 'Lead by Example' in Delivering Value for Money
The chancellor and the Treasury are failing to lead by example in delivering value for money, according to a damning reportThe Treasury select committee report published on March 7 found that the Treasury had failed to deliver on many of its value-formoney...
Volunteers to Receive £6M Boost
The government is to give a ?6m boost to volunteer training as part of its response to recommendations from the Commission on the Future of Volunteering.It also committed itself to setting out guidance to help avoid unnecessary criminal records checks...
Whatever Works
David Freud, the government's newly appointed welfare adviser, freely admits that until recently he knew next to nothing about his subject.I could barely spell the word "welfare",' he jokes. 'Like a lot of people, I was somewhat puzzled about why I'd...
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