Public Finance

Articles from May 2008

Academy Overkill
'I have a very good relationship with Andrew [Adonis]. He rings me up and says "Do you want this school?" And I ask, "what it's like?" And if it sounds like the sort of thing we are interested in, I say "yes".' So claims Lord Harris, discussing conversations...
Almos and Councils Decry Regulatory Lag
Council-owned housing companies are appealing to ministers to extend a new regulatory regime to them sooner rather than later.While housing associations will be regulated by the Office for Tenants and Social Landlords (Oftenant) from next April, arm's-length...
Any Questions?
The International Federation of Accountants is becoming an increasingly important source of guidance for accountants, whatever sector they work in. Part of its mission is to strengthen the voice and profile of the accountancy profession worldwide, and...
BBC Savings Could Be Improved, Say MPs
The BBC is on track to meet its target of £75m savings on procurement spending over three years, but could reduce its costs even further, MPs have found.The broadcaster spends more than £500m a year on goods and services, and could secure more' savings...
Bleak Outlook for Public Finances after Darling's Tax Cut
The public finances will be left in increasing disarray next year as a result of Chancellor Alistair Darling's May 13 decision to borrow ?2.7bn to fund a tax cut for low- and middle-income households, senior economists have said.As Bank of England governor...
Brown Promises 'More Power' for NHS Patients
The prime minister has set out 'radical' plans to 'put more power in the hands of patients' treated by the NHS, as a Healthcare Commission hospital patient survey revealed wide variations in patient satisfaction.Gordon Brown told MPs on May 14 that the...
Brown's Queen's Speech Preview Seeks to Reform and Reassure
Gordon Brown has set cart a draft legislative programme combining a new «ave of public service iefuiiiis with measures aimed at reassuring the public that they will be shielded from the worst of the economic downturn.The prime minister, in Ms preview...
Campaigners Urge Action 'Not Just Discussion' on Future of Social Care
Social care campaigners have called for a clear timetable for reform after ministers initiated an 'intense' six-month debate on the subject.Health Secretary Alan Johnson confirmed that the long-awaited green paper on the shape and funding of social care...
Couldn't Possibly Downsize
'Humphrey,' I said. 'We simply have to slim down the civil service. How many people are there in this department?''Oh, we're very small.''How small - 2,000? 3,000?''About 23,000, 1 think, minister.'Jim Hacker can contain himself no longer: Twenty-three...
Events
May* MAY 19-21National Association of Pension Rinds: Local authority conference and exhibition 2008Keynote address by former government minister David Blunkett Speakers include: Stephen Jones, director of finance & performance, Local Government Association;...
Government Isolated on Pupil Tests
The government stands alone in its faith in the national pupil testing regime, teachers' leaders said this week after MPs called for the system to be urgently reformed.The children, schools and families select committee said inappropriate use of national...
Government to Expand Open Market Homebuy Scheme
The Housing Corporation is to spend up to £200m purchasing homes on the open market as part of a major expansion of a government scheme for first-time buyers.Some of the homes will be offered for sale through the Homebuy scheme with the remainder used...
Healey Rejects Task Force Call to Cut Red Tape
The regulatory burdens on council finances should be lightened, an independent task force recommended on May 15.The fifth report of the Lifting the Burdens Task Force, the body charged with finding ways to cut red tape imposed on councils by government...
Knock, Knock. .
March 27, 2011 will observe a tradition going back more than 200 years. It is the next UK Census Day, when, in theory, every household in the realm declares how many people are under its roof, along with data on their origins, health, beliefs and (possibly)...
Minister Urges Stronger Links with Businesses
The local government minister has called for improved links between local authorities and the business community.Speaking at the PricewaterhouseCoopers Government Forum on transforming public services through collaboration, John Healey said he would...
More Councils Join Carbon Scheme
A further 74 town halls have joined a carbon management scheme as tackling climate change continues to move up the local agenda.The English and Scottish authorities could shave 20% off their energy costs as a result of joining the Local Authority Carbon...
Nice No More
According to the governor of the Bank of England, the nice decade is over. And doesn't Gordon Brown know it.Former colleagues and New Labour spouses have been queuing up to slate the prime minister in their memoirs. Apparently he's 'frustrating annoying...
PASC Presses for MPs' Voting Rights on Whitehall Reorganisations
A Commons committee has broken with traditional protocol to restate its demand that Parliament be allowed to debate and vote on major Whitehall reorganisations.The public administration select committee has repeatedly questioned whether the prime minister...
People
MOVESJohn Matheson, currently director of finance at NHS Lothian, has been appointed director of finance of the Health Department, Scottish Government, with effect from July 1. He is a member of the CIPFA Health Panel and a former chair of the CIPFA...
Review of School Governing Bodies Starts Work
A major review designed to deliver smaller and better-trained school governing bodies began last week.A working group, chaired by schools minister Jim Knight, will develop proposals on how the bodies can best foster schools' direction and ethos, listen...
Round-Up
* The Welsh Assembly Government has launched a new strategy to help the estimated 12,000 young people in Wales not in training, education or employment. It is expected to include legislation to provide a greater choice of courses in schools and colleges...
Scottish Parliament Launches Inquiry into Handling of Public Sector Assets
A parliamentary committee is to investigate the need to improve the management of public sector assets in Scotland following concern about the way billions of pounds of public investment are planned and managed.CIPFA Scotland has been asked by the Scottish...
Sickness Rates Highest in the Public Sector
The gap between sick days taken by public and private sector employees has grown to a record level, according to the annual CBI/Axa absence survey.The average among public sector workers was nine days off in 2007, compared with 5.8 days in the private...
Southeast Region Increases Its Dominance of UK Economy
Official statistics on economic productivity have disclosed the extent to which the British economy is concentrated in the Southeast, prompting fears that the gap between regions might have increased.Regional trends, published by the Office for National...
What Price Pension Reform?
The recent strikes over public sector pay have once again thrown the spotlight on public sector pensions, with some claiming that they are too generous. But they have just been reformed, after more than five years of intensive negotiations between the...
Zero-Carbon Housing Remains a Priority
Landlords and developers should not use the downturn in the housing market as an excuse for building substandard homes, the head of the government's regeneration agency has said.Addressing procurement managers from housing associations and local authorities...
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