Public Finance

Articles from No. 1/2, January/February

Answer to PF's Christmas
QuizThanks to all of you who played the Christmas Quiz. The PF team managed to outfox you this year as no one managed to get all of the answers right, so the winner had to be drawn from those who only stumbled on one question. Congratulations to Grainne...
A Tartan Separation?
In Prague, the trendiestbar right now is called Lokal and serves only one brand of beer. It is a recreation of a dowdy, Communist-era restaurant, complete with surly waitresses and a menu restricted to sausages. It shows that almost anything can be recycled...
'Balance Sheet' for Referendum
CIPFA Scotland is poised to intervene in Scotland's most charged political debate for decades, by stepping in to redress what it believes is a lack of objective information about the implications of the independence referendum for the public finances.In...
Brave New World Disorders
Do local government and the health sector have sufficient financial stability to deliver greater integration at the pace and scale desired?Models of delivery and funding have already been identified for the integration of social care and health. But...
CIPFA Events
CIPFA, the leading public finance and accountancy body, is the major event and course providerfor the public services. Our events range from technical updates to conferences on strategic issues. Coveringfinance, governance and performance topics across...
CIPFA Takes a Yardstick to 'Local Spending'
CIPFA is examining ways to improve public financial management by developing a method of measuring spending across public services in different areas of the country.Plans for the new spending framework will be developed over the next six months covering...
Coming Up
WASTE VALUEThe National Audit Office is looking at the value for money offered by three FYivate Finance Initiative waste incinerator projects operated for Herefordshire Council and Worcestershire County Council, Norfolk County Council and Surrey County...
FIXING the ROOF
sir michael Lyons is angry. Or at least what passes for angry on the part of a mild-mannered member of the public sector's great and good. 'People have been sold a pup,' he tells me. 'They've been encouraged to believe in home ownership, but have now...
How to Make the Most of Your Assets
The public sector has faced severe fiscal pressures for some years. Dealing with budget reductions and cuts to services has encouraged innovation to deliver savings and provide efficiencies through changing working practices.It is often stated that property...
In Brief
TALKS ON JOBS FUTUREPartnership approachWelsh Government ministers held a meeting with council representatives and trade union leaders in an attempt to agree a common public sector workforce development approach amid Westminster's austerity programme....
Keeping It Real on Welfare
TV 'poverty pom' and depictions of feckless families are shaping public debate about benefit cuts. Meanwhile, local councils, charities and social housing providers must pick up the piecesThe furore over Channel 4's Benefits Street programme brings to...
Key Cities Urge Ministers to Set out Clear Vision for Devolution
A senior council leader has urged the government to streamline its localism initiatives and set out more details about preferred structures for devolved powers.Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council and chair of the Key Cities Group of 22 midsized...
Labour Adds Council Tax Reform to Agenda
Labour will consider reforms to council tax as part of its commission on town hall finances, shadow local government minister Andy Sawford has revealed.In an exclusive interview, Sawford told Public Finance that any local authority ideas for raising...
Launch Pads
can you imagine what it would be like to have little or no control over your limbs, where you can't speak and have only limited interaction with the world and the people around you? No, I can't either but I recently met a group of young adults with profound...
Letters
Cuts are out of proportion for the poorestIt is now clear from statements from ministers and officials that tried and tested grant principles of meeting need and resource equalisation have been replaced by 'incentivisation'.The specific decision to allow...
Numbers Game
Forward Guidance, initially hailed as a masterstroke from the new Bank of England governor, is starting to show signs of strain.Back in the summer, Mark Carney used the new policy to signal that an interest rate rise would not be considered until the...
Obituary: WILL WERRY
1 May 1929 - 25 November 2013Will V\terry joined District Audit in 1948 and 'retired' as District Auditor in Birmingham in 1989, when he embarked on his second career as CIPFA's guru on ail aspects of competition.In a generally conservative organisation,...
One for the Road
TRANSPORT NETWORKS ARE vital tO OUI' national economic prosperity. Highways and other local transport infrastructure together represent by far the biggest capital asset that the UK public sector holds. But they may collectively be undervalued by at least...
The Day of Reckoning
if you followed England's abject performance in the Ashes test cricket in Australia over the winter you probably heard a familiar Yorkshire accented refrain of: 'I just don't know what's happening out there.'As someone brought up in Manchester, it pains...
The Digital Imperative
investment in digital technology is undoubtedly key to the future of local government. But in the constantly shifting digital landscape, ensuring our investments are fit for the future also means investing in supporting leaders with the technological...
The Yes Effect on Councils
Scotland's municipal heads of finance believe that local authorities will need extra powers and greater autonomy if the country votes for independence in September's referendum.They voted by an eight-to-one margin in favour of additional powers after...
Up Close and Personal
So, after an age of prepping and procrastination, is the public sector finally ready for its close-up? Are the Berlin Walls and silos about to come tumbling down, as service managers accept it would be easier just to get on with it and move in together?...
War of Words on Education
You are shadow education secretary. Interviewed by the Times, you wear a navy blue Barbour and say teachers should be re-licensed every five years. Offered space by the Sun, you write short sentences and promise 'behaviour experts' to stop kids messing...
Watchdog: Watch
WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE WORLD OF REGULATION AND INSPECTIONWales Audit OfficeThe Welsh auditor general has urged local authorities to ensure they have effective financial management arrangements in place after his annual audit review revealed that performance...
When the Risks Pay Off
local government has displayed impressive innovation in recent years. Cost-cutting initiatives and process improvements have enabled many local authorities to maintain core services in spite oftighteningbudgets. However, the real success or failure of...
Winter Pressure Politics
AT ITS CORE, it's an endearingly simple notion. With the squeeze on public expenditure growing ever tighter, and pledges to protect 'frontline' services by concentrating savings on back-office waste and efficiency wearing thin, why not seek efficiency...
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