Public Finance

Articles from May

All Eyes on the Election Prize
Less than a month after the government started to make a host of controversial changes to the welfare system, voters will go to the polls across England in a fresh test of support for the coalition's deficitreduction plans. Elections scheduled for May...
Austerity Rations
How low can public spending be allowed to go? For public services, this is the issue of the moment, as the chancellor prepares for his 2015/16 Spending Review on June 26 - and ministers slug it out over who gets prime pickings from the meagre funding...
Better Together
THE FOUR PILOTS for Community Budgets, which pool various funding sources for particular local priorities, have been very successful. The Local Government Association conservatively estimates that if the same approach was used nationally, it could save...
CIPFA Events
CIPFA hosts events around the UK for members and non-members alike. These events range from small workshops for local CIPFA members through to large conferences, and are directed towards professionals across most disciplines in the public sector.CIPFA...
Coming Up
MEDIA MOVEThe National Audit Office is to examine the BBC's relocation to Salford. Several of the broadcaster's operations, including sport, children's programming and Radio 5 Live, moved to Salford 's MediaCityUK complex. The aim was to increase approval...
EU Accounting Standards 'Need Political Support'
Political buy-in will be crucial to the successful introduction of common accounting standards across the European Union, according to Eurostat official Alexandre Makaronidis.Makaronidis, head of the project researching the options, told Public Finance...
False Economies?
IN JUNE 2010, the chancellor's terms of reference for Lord Hutton's Independent Public Service Pensions Commission included a request to 'consider the case for delivering savings on public service pensions within the Spending Review period... to contribute...
Government Urged to Drop 'Wasteful' Competition Plan
The government has been urged to back down on plans to make Local Enterprise Partnerships compete fora share of the proposed single local growth fund after a warning that such an exercise could be a waste of money.In the Budget on March 20, Chancellor...
Green Bank Seeks Funding Extension
The Edinburgh-based Green Investment Bank is in talks with ministers about extending its funding for at least a further year, Public Finance has been told.The bank, the first of its kind in the world, has been set up to pump £3bn of public money into...
How to Manage in Cyberspace
Virtual working has become increasingly common in recent years thanks to globalisation, growing concern for the environment and the need for organisations to find savings.It has been enthusiastically adopted by 'Generation Y employees who have grown...
In Brief
FUNDING IS IN THE BAGCarrier bag levy to help fund projectsNorthern Ireland launched a 5p carrier bag tax in April. The Single Use Carrier Bag Levy is expected to cut the 250 million carrier bags used in Northern Ireland each year by 80%. The levy will...
Letters
You can e-mail your letters to letterstoeditor@publicfinance.co.uk. Please include your name and address and a daytime phone number. The editor reserves the right to edit lettersHelp expose CCGs shamNoel Plumridge's opinion piece, 'CCGs - the real deal'...
LGA Plans Sector Shake-Up
Sir Merrick Cockell interviewThe Local Government Association is set to launch a radical reform plan for councils that will outline new ways of allocating public funding and providing services, chair Sir Merrick Cockell has revealed.In an interview with...
Missing the Whole Picture
The second set of UK Whole of Government Accounts, covering the year ending March 31, 2011, was published at the end of October 2012, but received limited coverage.In fact, WGA failed even to get a mention in the Budget 20 13 documentation.This was surprising...
Numbers Game
There was more bad news for the chancellor from Washington this month. The International Monetary Fund followed the Office for Budget Responsibility in revising down its expectations for UK growth. Adding insult to injury, the economists singled out...
Obituary: James Watts 1927-2013
James Watts - or Jim to his colleagues - died on February 6, 20 13 at the age of 85. Jim passed away at St Richard's Hospital in Chichester after fighting a succession of serious illnesses, which he had very bravely borne. He leaves behind his wife,...
Rules of Engagement
DEEP PUBLIC SECTOR cuts combined with increased demand for services leave councils in a tricky position. In March, a report from think-tank Demos considered how responsibility for local services could be rebalanced between the state, the individual and...
Thatcher: The Real Deal
The real Margaret Thatcher has got lost in the outpouring of reverential praise and vituperative attacks since her death on April 8. These have obscured both the style and substance of her record.Many of the themes of the 1979-1990 era - tensions in...
The State of Things to Come
THE RECENT PASSING of Margaret Thatcher provided Britain with a fascinating reminder of the way in which government - or, in her case, a powerful government leader - can affect the ways we think about the state and public expenditure. No prime minister...
Under New Management
THE UK IS in an economic hole. It remains mired in the longest recession for more than a century, and growth forecasts have again been revised down The government's 2013 Budget appeared to hoist the white flag, with the Office for Budget Responsibility...
Watchdog: Watch
WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE WORLD OF REGULATION AND INSPECTIONAudit CommissionLocal audit contracts worth £25m a year are to be retendered in a bid to find further savings, the Audit Commission has announced.The local authority and primary care trust contracts...
What about the Workers?
THE CHANCELLOR'S ANNOUNCEMENT of a further year of public sector pay restraint - pegged at 1% until 2015/16 with no additional increments - has pushed the question of public sector pay bargaining further up the agenda for public service unions like my...
Where There's Muck, There's Brass
My teenage daughter now has a Saturday job at a major coffee chain. She won't let me reveal it but if s the one that is named after a character from Moby Dick and that doesn't pay as much tax as perhaps one would expect.I go in occasionally and every...
Why the Centre Can't Hold
It is amazing how unprepared most new governments are when they take office. The current one had 13 years in opposition before winning power, while the previous Labour Government had to wait 18 years.Even so, they are often slow to grasp how policy-making...
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