Public Finance

Articles from June 2008

Child Poverty Rises for Second Year Running
Ministers were forced on the defensive this week after official figures showed that the number of children living in poverty has increased for the second year running.The news fuelled doubts that the government could meet its targets of halving child...
Children 'Scared and Demonised'
Two new reports have attacked the government's record on children's rights. The four children's commissioners in the UK and the Children's Rights Alliance of England have submitted reports to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which is scrutinising...
CIPFA Supports OECD Proposal for Pre-Election Finance Report
A report highlighting the state of government finances should be prepared immediately before an election, say leading public finance officials in Scotland.The proposal, seen as a means of improving public scrutiny, has been put forward in a submission...
Cooper Puts Her Faith in PSAs and the Efficiency Drive
Cross-departmental working and 'continual improvement' in public services are critical if the government is to meet its main targets, the chief secretary to the Treasury has said.Talking to Public Finance on June 11 at a National School of Government...
Councils Must Take 'More Active Mental Health Role'
Local government needs to reassert itself and play a more active role in mental health care, senior social care managers have said.The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services said mental health should not be viewed simply as an NHS preserve,...
Director for Our Times
We live in financial times, according to the advertising slogan. Anyone working in the public sector will certainly vouch for that.As the years of generous public spending have come to an end, the pressure has mounted on frontline service providers to...
DoH Hits out over 'Ludicrous Misrepresentation' on Clinics
The government has set out how it will spend £34m to tackle health inequalities as the row with doctors over polyclinics continues.Health Secretary Alan Johnson told an Institute for Public Policy Research event on June 9 that Labour's proposals to improve...
End Market Approach to Services, Says TUC
The market-based approach to public services has failed to deliver better value or real accountability and should be replaced with a 'public value' model, according to a report for the Trades Union Congress.Part of the TUC's Touchstone pamphlet series,...
Extra Funding Failing to Reach Poorest Schoolchildren
The poorest children are missing out on money earmarked for their education because councils are choosing to spread the funds across all the pupils in their areas, according to economic experts.A study from the Institute of Fiscal Studies, funded by...
Flood-Hit Councils Given Extra Funds through Bellwin Scheme
Six councils affected by winter flooding are being invited to claim extra money to help cushion the financial blow they experienced.Local government minister John Healey this week announced that, through the Bellwin Scheme, the eligible authorities would...
Here and NAO
You wouldn't guess from her modest desk and open-plan office that Caroline Mawhood is in charge of 150 staff and the audit of ?300bn of revenue and ?8bn of expenditure. The National Audit Office's longest-standing assistant auditor general shares space...
Migration Policy Comes under Fire
A cross-government policy for managing the impacts of migration has been criticised for failing to do enough to support local services and for 'stoking up community tensions'.The Department for Communities and Local Government published Managing the...
NI's New First Minister Announces Reshuffle
Ian Paisley's retirement as Northern Ireland first minister and leader of the Democratic Unionists has led to a reshuffle of DUP Executive ministers.The new DUP leader and first minister is Peter Robinson, who has removed one DUP minister and moved all...
ONS Data Highlight Disparities in Post-Devolution Health Spending
Figures showing that Scotland spends over 20% more per head on health and social care than England have highlighted the post-devolution variations in public services - and concerns over the Barnett funding formula.The Office for National Statistics figures,...
Patients 'Yet to Feel the Benefit of Market Reforms'
The government has pumped ?lbn into introducing market-style reforms in the NHS, but they have not yet brought significant benefits to patients, two watchdogs have found.In a joint report on the marketorientated mechanisms - payment by results; practice-based...
Police Should Answer to Local People, Says LGA
Reforms to make the police more accountable to their communities have been proposed by the Local Government Association.In a new report, Answering to you, published on June 9, the LGA says giving local people more say over how their force is run would...
Public Sector Workers Behind Surge in Strikes
Walkouts by public sector workers are almost entirely responsible for a surge in the number of strike days recorded in the UK last year, official figures have revealed.The Office for National Statistics figures - which show the number of working days...
Putting the Public Straight
Nothing to do with me, squire. That's the attitude of most public sector employees to the implosion of the Brown government. Politics, they seem to say, is a nasty, dirty business. But just like a maiden aunt and procreation, they seem to forget that...
Rise in Repossessions Sparks Call for Better Housing Advice
Better advice should be offered to prospective homeowners to avoid them becoming victims of the credit crunch, housing professionals warned this week.With the demand for social housing rising due to home repossession orders, members of the Chartered...
Round-Up
* A compulsory national identity card could be used to carry out surveillance on millions of people, MF3S on the home affairs select committee have warned. In a June 9 report, the MPs called on the government to pledge that the cards would not be used...
Scary or Straightforward?
What's your reaction when someone mentions International Financial Reporting Standards? Do you put your head in the sand and hope they will go away? Do you ignore them, and think 'they won't affect me'? Do you think they will mean a lot of extra work...
Scots Leader Orders Study on Oil Fund
First Minister Alex Salmond is to commission a study into the setting up of an oil fund for Scotland.Announcing his plan this week, Salmond demanded that some of the extra revenue generated by rising oil prices should be channelled north of the border.He...
Storm Warning
A year ago, parts of Britain suffered their worst floods for centuries. Today, more than 5,000 families have still not returned to their homes and more than 1,000 are living in caravans. The local authorities affected had to face major challenges, both...
Telling It like It Was
CIPFA members floating to the fringe lecture at this year's annual conference are in for a treat There can be no doubt that John Prescott, former deputy prime minister and deputy leader of the Labour Party, is one of the most colourful politicians of...
Where the Heart Is
ne irony from the current torrid time faced by Gordon Brown is that the issue that was once his greatest strength the economy - is what has laid him low.Dithering over elections and pushing through Draconian anti-terror laws have not helped but, as John...
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