Public Finance

Articles from June 2008

A Brave New World?
The world of financial management and the role of the finance professional are changing fast. Globalisation, new organisational structures, the advent of shared services, and the increasing use of technology are all having a massive impact on finance...
Barnett Formula Is 'Unsustainable'
The Barnett Formula, which determines the funding of the devolved administrations in the UK, is unsustainable in the long run as it is neither efficient nor equitable, a team of public spending experts have warned.In a paper submitted to the Scottish...
Civil Servants Are Scared of Change, Says Livingstone
The former mayor of London has launched a scathing attack on Britain's civil service, accusing mandarins of being Opposed to doing anything'.In his first speech after losing the May 1 election to Boris Johnson, Ken Livingstone said that it was no longer...
DfT 'Stalling on Policy Decisions'
The Department for Transport appears to lack a clear, tangible vision and is stalling on major policy decisions, MPs have said.The Commons transport select committee's assessment of the DfTs 2007 annual report found a number of areas where the department...
Events
June* JUNE 26CBI public cervices summitSpeakers include: Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell; Charles Leadbeater, Demos associate; Paul Coen, chief executive, Local Government Association; Richard Lambert, director-general CBI; and Peter Housden,...
Healey Lauds Lyons and Predict
Government proposals to reform council tax are likely to be put forward before the general election, the local government minister has indicated.Speaking at the opening plenary of the CIPFA conference in Brighton on June 18, John Healey said: 'You'll...
Health Service Leaders Optimistic for NHS
Quality, safety and commissioning have been highlighted as the crucial drivers for future improvements to the NHS, according to a survey of senior managers.The poll, published by the NHS Confederation on June 18 to mark the start of its annual conference...
Lean Cuisine
If anyone had doubts about where local government stands in the pecking order, it was made clear in no uncertain terms this week.After his speech to CIPFAs annual conference in Brighton, local government minister John Healey was asked whether there might...
LGA Head Predicts More Freedoms for Councils
Tight financial settlements for town halls and the economic downturn might lead to greater financial freedoms for councils, the chair of the Local Government Association has predicted.Sir Simon Milton told Public Finance at the conference that the government...
Local Government 'Has Vital Role in Solving Housing Crisis'
Local government leadership is crucial to the housing sector overcoming the credit crunch, the head of a new mult i billion pound regeneration agency said this weekResponding to a government appeal for help in promoting an upturn in the housing market...
Ministers Pledge to Provide More Local Information on Crime
The government has backed a report by crime and communities adviser Louise Casey that proposes steps to make more information on crime rates available and restore public confidence in the judicial system.Casey, in her report Engaging communities infighting...
More Than One Dimension to Community Cohesion
A year on from the publication of the Commission for Integration and Cohesions final report - and it's time to deliver. That is the conclusion of Darra Singh, the London Borough of Ealing chief executive who chaired the commission.'We need now to stop...
NAO Chief Awarded a CB in Queen's Honours List
The head of the National Audit Office, Tim Burr, has been made a Companion of the Order of the Bath in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours, one of 959 people honoured.Auditor general Burr, who took over as head of the NAO in February this year, was...
Neonatal Services Cannot Cope with Demand, Say MPs
The recent reorganisation of neonatal services has had little impact on matching supply and demand, leaving every unit turning away the most vulnerable babies on a weekly basis, MPs have found.A report from the Public Accounts Committee, published on...
Ofsted Criticises Science Teaching
Ofsted inspectors have criticised the standard of science teaching, particularly in primary schools.The schools inspectorate said many teachers, especially those working in the primary sector, lacked the confidence to teach science well because they...
PCTs 'Must Avoid Upheaval' in Bid for Democracy
Two independent reports have called on the government to avoid a major upheaval of the health care system in addressing the democratic deficit in the NHS.With health minister Lord Darzi's NHS Next Stage Review to be published shortly, an independent...
Police 'Must Be Held to Account'
Police forces need to be made more accountable to improve performance and boost public trust, a think-tank has said.Despite record increases in police spending, performance on key indicators has stalled and public satisfaction levels have dipped, according...
Power to the Patients
The accountability of primary care trusts has recently been the subject of intense debate. Politicians such as health minister Ben Bradshaw and Communities Secretary Hazel Blears have called for PCTs to be more democratically accountable, and Prime Minister...
Round-Up
* Population growth in England is likely to be fastest in the East Midlands over the next eight years, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics. The ONS predicts an 11% population increase for the region, taking it to 4.8 million,...
Scots Plans to Cut Binge Drinking Come under Fire
The Scottish Government has come under Are from the drinks industry and opposition political parties after unveiling radical plans to curb Scotland's binge-drinking culture.Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon announced on June 17 details of a consultation...
Tough on Crime, or Just Tough Talking?
How often have we read stories over the past ten years or so that promised populist measures in the field of criminal justice, garnered a few favourable headlines for their apparent toughness and then disappeared without trace?There was a classic example...
Tricky Treatments
As the NHS reaches its sixtieth birthday, it faces a challenge that threatens to both undermine its principles as a body for social justice and its legitimacy with the taxpaying public.This challenge comes in the form of 'top-up' payments, where patients...
Weathering the Storm
Six months ago, the credit crunch still seemed like a distant and very US problem. This is no longer the case. One medium-sized British financial institution has already failed, and its larger cousins have been forced to make very large debt write-offs...
Yorkshire Councils Veto Plans for Eco-Town after Residents Protest
Local authorities have withdrawn their support for an eco-town in Yorkshire, following strong opposition from residents.Council leaders in the Leeds city-region threw out proposals by independent consultants to build the town on a former mining site...
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