Public Finance

Articles from November 2009

2014 Commonwealth Games 'Must Not Be Another Holyrood'
Scotland's public sector watchdog has told die organisers of die 2014 Commonwealdi Games, to be staged in Glasgow, that they must ensure costs are kept under control and risks are managed.Audit Scotiand's advice, in a report published on November 19,...
Adonis Pledges £50M for Ten 'Left Behind' Railway Stations
The government has agreed to pay £50m to improve ten railway stations In England.The money will be used to make urgent changes to passenger facilities, including shops and car parks.The announcement follows a report. Better rail stations, published on...
Battles Royal
Gordon Brown, it seems, is still determined to patch it up with prudence.The prime minister, who yearns to regain his reputation for careful stewardship of the nations finances, put fiscal responsibility firmly at the heart of his new. and possibly last,...
Clinical Trials
THIS IS THE time of year when many public sector managers anxiously await the funding settlement for the year ahead. Now, as the era of generous public spending increases draws to a close, they have more cause for trepidation than usual. But not, of...
Doubts Cast on Viability of Plans for Free Home Care
Social care experts are sceptical about plans in the Queen's Speech to introduce free home care for those with the highest levels of need.The government pledged free social care for around 280,000 adults in England, with conditions such as severe dementia...
Events
CIPFA The Chartered Institute of Public Finance & AccountancyNovember* November 24Local authority technical updateA fast and effective way to find out the latest on International Financial Reporting Standards and other issues for hands-on accountants...
Experts Pour Scorn on Fiscal Responsibility Bill
The government's move to enshrine in law its commitment to slash the public deficit has come under fire from economists and experts.The Fiscal Responsibility Bill, announced in the November 18 Queen's Speech, would give a statutory basis to the government's...
FDs Are Crucial in Helping Public Sector Survive Cuts, Says Morgan
Finance directors face the 'challenge of a lifetime' in dealing with the public sector funding crisis, the Welsh Assembly Government's permanent secretary has warned.Dame Gill Morgan suggested that public servants will have to prepare for an unprecedented...
Five Stories You Might Have Missed This Week
1 Mortgage scheme comes to the rescue of ownersSeventy-four households that were struggling to pay their mortgages agreed to sell their properties to housing associations and become tenants in the third quarter of 2009, figures have shown.This takes...
Government's Skills Proposals Criticised by Education Leaders
College leaders have warned that ministers' investment plans for training and skills programmes next year amount to spending cuts.Funding for skills programmes will total £4.4bn under the government's Skills Investment Strategy 20 Í0/ 11. It would usher...
Hope Shakes Up Services for Mentally Ill Offenders
A package of reforms intended to keep mentally ill people out of prison and allow offenders equal access to health care services has been revealed.The plans, announced on November 17 by care services minister Phil Hope, will establish a national network...
Letters
You can e-mail your letters to letterstoeditor@publicfinance.co.uk or fax them to: 020 7880 7691. Please include your name and address and a daytime phone number. The editor reserves the right to edit letterswww.publicfinance.co.uk/opinionFinance future...
Minding His Own Business
ONE OF THE most striking things about 42-year-old Adrian Ringrose, the new chair of the CBI's public services strategy board, is his relative youth. In 2003, he became chief executive of construction and facilities management group Interserve at the...
News in Brief
A government target of building 3 million new homes by 2020 is unlikely to be achieved because of the dramatic slowdown in the industry during the past two years, said a Joseph Rowntree Foundation study. The report, published on November 17, said the...
NHS Is Doing More for Less, Say Auditors
The NHS is succeeding in doing more for less but is making little progress in moving treatment out of hospitals and closer to patients' homes, the Audit Commission has said.Its report, More for less, published on November 12, found that overall trusts...
Open Sesame
SOMETHING FOR NOTHING always sounds attractive, especially when you are looking for savings. Public services spend an estimated £17bn a year on ICT, a sizeable proportion of which goes on acquiring and maintaining software. There is a way to make huge...
Pre-Budget Report Set to Cut Ring-Fenced Funding for Services
Ministers are seeking ways to reduce ring-fencing of public service funding as documents to be released with next month's Pre-Budget Report reveal a tangled web of funding streams.The scale of the restrictions on local service spending emerged in preliminary...
Primary School Crisis Worse Than Thought
Councils in London are preparing a new round of lobbying to try to secure more government funding for primary schools after data showed capacity problems were worse than first thought.In July, the Department for Children, Schools and Families pledged...
Public Bodies 'Losing £27Bn a Year to Fraud'
The UK public sector is being cheated out of an estimated £27bn a year, and must tackle the problem to safeguard jobs and services, a leading fraud expert has said.Jim Gee, director of counter- fraud services at consultancy Macintyre Hudson, said scams...
Taoiseach to Proceed with Pay Cuts
Public sector pay in Ireland must be cut, Taoiseach (prime minister) Brian Cowen has insisted.He was responding to die widespread public sector strike action planned for November 24, which teachers have now voted to join.'Ireland is in crisis,' Cowen...
Tenants Authority 'Acting beyond Its Remit'
Social landlords have accused their new regulator of going beyond its remit by looking too closely into how they achieve value for money.Both councils and housing associations are concerned about a value-for-money standard that is set to form part of...
The Kids Are Alright
YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT is high and will probably go on rising. Last week's unemployment figures showed that some 943,000 16-24-year-olds were seeking work - the highest number on record. This is causing some alarm and all three main parties have developed...
The State in Play
IN SEPTEMBER 2008, the global financial system came perilously close to total collapse. We can now safely assume that the prospect of total systemic collapse is behind us, even if individual financial institutions are by no means yet out of trouble.To...
WAG Should Have 'Full Powers' in Devolved Areas
Giving the Welsh Assembly full law-making powers over the 20 devolved policy areas would substantially improve the current system, a landmark report has said.The findings of die All Wales Convention, a 16-strong committee set up to investigate the appetite...
Welsh Assembly Budget Lacks Flexibility, Say AMs
The Welsh Assembly Government's 2010/11 budget plans fail to show how the government's objectives will be met in 'changed economic circumstances', AMs have said.The Assembly's finance committee said using the same expenditure patterns and formulas did...
Working Together
THERE IS TALK of the UK's tentative recovery from the recession, but for many councils the need to manage long-term effects of the downturn is becoming ever more pressing.While the private sector might be showing signs of recovery, the sector faces an...
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