Public Finance

Articles from No. 9, September

A New Clean Air Act Is Needed - Now
Talk to your parents or grandparents and they'll confirm air pollution used to be more visible, as the extensive burning of domestic and industrial fuel emitted large amounts of soot and particulates. Today, the air is visibly cleaner thanks to legislation,...
A Study in Turmoil
The University of Manchester's announcement in May that it was to make 171 staff redundant took many higher education watchers by surprise. Its reasons for the decision were strikingly diverse: "greater global competition, reductions in public funding,...
Blockchain on the Books
Sometime soon you will be asked whether "distributed ledger" and "blockchain" technology might benefi t your organisation. I know these terms sound techie and will probably induce an involuntary yawn, but the word "ledger" suggests that accountants should...
Cipfa Events
CONFERENCESCIPFA holds key conferences in a range of areas from technical guidance to debate and food for thought provided by leading speakers, experts and commentators. Search under 'conferences' at www.cipfa.org/events for our full listing.21 SEPTEMBER,...
Faster Finding
The Health and Safety Executive won the digitisation in finance award for work by its business intelligence team to help staff extract information more rapidly from the vast amount of data the organisation holds.The team sought to move from a system...
Feedback
Doctor need neglected* What a pity the coalition government didn't think about doctor recruitment in 2010, and Labour before that (Government pledges 1,500 more doctors for NHS, http://bit.ly/2vYcBM8).Why aren't the senior civil servants bringing these...
Figuring out Funding
For many of us involved in the negotiations over the national funding formula (NFF) for education, our reaction when the election was called was to slump over our calculators and whisper "Oh no". More delays at best and, at worst, the risk that it would...
From Bongs to Business
Big Ben Bong Ban. It's been silly season and, without much serious news to focus on, headline writers have been having some fun.The outrage over planned maintenance on Big Ben - or the Elizabeth Tower, to give it its proper name - which means the Westminster...
Global Index to Boost Reform
The International Federation of Accountants has joined with CIPFA to launch an accountability index to encourage public fi nancial management reform around the world.Developed as part of IFAC's Accountability Now initiative, the Public Sector Financial...
Healthy Integration
Politicians and others often will the integration of health and social care, but progress has been only patchy given the complexities that come with the former being run by a national body and the latter by local authorities.In Plymouth, such integration...
Housing Groups to Fill Gaps Left by Grenfell Inquiry
Housing umbrella bodies are looking to explore social housing policy issues arising from the Grenfell Tower tragedy.The Chartered Institute of Housing and the National Housing Federation are examining how they can fi ll the gap that will not be covered...
How and Why to Close Local Authority Accounts Quickly
Local government is accustomed to accounting within a complex system of rules for reporting, monitoring, governance and scrutiny. The public sector faces increasing demand for transparency in its use of funds while pressure to maintain levels of good...
In Brief
SOCIAL SECURITYScotland to bring in funeral costs benefitScottish ministers are to use their new welfare powers to introduce a benefit to help people struggling to pay funeral costs. Angela Constance, cabinet secretary for equalities, social security...
Make Up EU Funding Shortfall, Says LGA
The government should match the level of EU funds given to councils after Brexit, the Local Government Association has said.Its Beyond Brexit report, published on 28 July, called on Whitehall to grant councils the £8.4bn (euro10.5bn) they were due from...
'Massive' Cultural Shift with Budget
Scotland's new fi scal powers will bring about a "massive" culture change to Holyrood's budget process, a member of the independent expert group charged with drawing up reforms has told PF.Don Peebles, head of CIPFA Scotland, said: "Th e wider cultural...
Numbers Game
Going electricThere were 10,719 electric and alternative fuel vehicles registered in the UK in June 2017, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.Of these, 1,466 were pure electric vehicles, a 45.7% increase on June 2016.Over the...
Pay Rise Reality
Since the election, there has been a chorus of calls for the cap on public sector pay to be lifted, including from within the cabinet. So far, the chancellor has been reluctant. It's not hard to see why - the NHS pay bill is more than £50bn a year (by...
Protecting the Taxpayers' Pound
Tackling tax evasion - and avoidance - may not be enough to save our public services, but it is certainly very important. The reason is not diffi cult to fathom. Public services are funded by taxes paid by individuals and corporations. If individuals...
Regional Passport Would Benefit UK after Brexit
Brexit could allow the UK to direct migrants to areas where they could be more "benefi cial", executive director of consultancy Europe Economics Andrew Lilico told the CIPFA conference in July.The economist suggested the UK adopt a Canadian-style regional...
Rules on Prison Officer Pay Broken Three Times
The Ministry of Justice three times breached Treasury guidelines in errors over prison offi cers' pay.Treasury offi cials have refused retrospective permission for the MoJ's action.The breaches were admitted in the annual report of the National Off ender...
Student Loan Rate to Hit 6.1%
The top rate of interest on student loans will go up to 6.1% this year as planned, the government has confi rmed.In August, the Department for Education made it clear that the government would not rethink its decision to raise the top rate of interest...
The Costs of Grenfell
In the early hours of 14 June this year, a faulty fridge sparked a fire on the fourth floor of a London tower block.Flames quickly engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower, killing at least 80 residents - including whole families - irrevocably damaging...
Your Views Wanted on Council Code
The annual consultation on the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom has been issued by the CIPFA/LASAAC local authority accounting code board. This year will see the introduction of two substantial international financial...
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