Public Finance

Articles from No. 5, May

A Deficit of Growth
'We will go from stuck in the red, to back in the black,' quips the Conservative manifesto. 'A Labour government will cut the deficit every year,' runs the counter-claim. The two versions of austerity are far from the same. Labour could achieve its fiscal...
A Standards Odyssey
as a result of the financial crisis and its continuing impact on Europe, attention has increasingly been focused on improving financial reporting by EU member governments.There is broad agreement that better public financial management requires an accounting...
Beware the Sturgeonator
Whatever happened to Alex Salmond? The Conservatives invested big money in billboards of the former first minister, looking like a smug Silvio Berlusconi, with Ed Miliband in his pocket. Then in the first of the televised debates, Britain was introduced...
Business Rates Reform Will Boost Local Economies
Regardless of who becomes prime minister after May 7, the message to small business is clear - business rates will soon be reformed. Chancellor George Osborne's announcement in the Budget of a 'radical' investigation into reform of the business rate...
CIPFA and ICAS to Offer Joint Audit Qualification
CIPFA is to work with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland to develop a joint qualification covering both public and corporate sector audit.The new integrated qualification was hailed as a landmark move by the institutes. It is intended...
CIPFA Events
CIPFA, the leading public finance and accountancy body, is the major event and course provider for the public services. Our events range from technical updates to conferences on strategic issues. Covering finance, governance and performance topics across...
Coming Up
FIRE REFORMS FACE SCRUTINYAudit Scotland is turning its attention to the April 2013 creation of a single fire service for Scotland from the previous eight regional services. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has a budget of £277m and employs 9,000...
Councils Pay Price of 'Cost Shunting'
It is one of the best ways to make ends meet when money is tight - get somebody else to foot the bill.During the past few years, the government has been doing precisely that with local authorities picking up the costs, even though they are under severe...
Council Tax Consensus Looks Unlikely
A Scottish Government-backed commission tasked with considering a replacement for the council tax is highly unlikely to arrive at a consensus, Scotland's local government minister Marco Biagi has admitted.Speaking to the CIPFA Scotland conference in...
Courts Enter Digital Age
WHEN ONE OF my former public sector employers was defending a case in the High Court, I watched as our submissions were wheeled in on trolleys. The photocopying bill was eye-watering. The civil court proceedings felt archaic, were hugely expensive and...
'Don't Let London Get Left Behind'
IT'S somewhat surprising to hear London's local government leader admit to fears of the capital missing out on the action, but that's what Jules Pipe argues. London is, after all, the home of the stock exchange, the Mother of all Parliaments, the nation's...
Holyrood's 'New World of Risk'
The Scottish government's devolved fiscal powers, the first of which took effect on April 1, expose it to a 'new world' of risk and responsibility, Scotland's auditor general has warned ministers.Caroline Gardner told Public Finance Scottish ministers...
How to Create an Anti-Fraud Culture
Keeping one step ahead of fraudsters is a challenge for the public sector at the best of times. In today's changing environment, this is even more difficult.The recent launch of the Department of Work and Pensions' Single Fraud Investigations Service...
In Brief
FIRST MILESTONEWales takes on non-domestic ratesWelsh finance minister Jane Hutt hailed devolution of non-domestic rates, saying it marks the first milestone of fiscal devolution to Wales. From April 1, the Welsh Assembly assumed full responsibility...
Innovation in Action
STRIVING FOR SUSTAINABILITYDERBY PROVIDES A CASE STUDY IN SUSTAINABLE FINANCE FOR SOCIAL HOUSINGDavid Enticott is a ciirector of Derby Homes, an arm's length management organisation (ALMO) created by Derby City Council to manage its council housing assets.When...
Letters
Pension scheme is a good deal for the taxpayerIt's nonsensical to suggest that the Local Government Pension Scheme is unaffordable or unsustainable (The Emperor's new pension scheme, Public Finance, April). Hypothecating the net cost against council...
LGA Seeks Financial Certainty with Offer of 'Devolution Deal'
The Local Government Association is preparing to offer a 'devolution deal' to the next government after a study of public service integration initiatives found they would not be fully effective without spending reforms.David Hodge, chair of LGA's People...
New Powers, New Responsibilities
LOCAL GOVERNMENT HAS long been interested in the prospect of central government devolving budgets and responsibilities. DevoManc and the announcements made by George Osborne in the March Budget have no doubt boosted hope that what many authorities have...
Nicholson Warns of NHS Cash Crunch
Former NHS England chief executive Sir David Nicholson has warned there will be a 'reckoning' within months about the size of the funding gap at the heart of the health service.Speaking at CIPFA's World Class Performance Symposium in London on March...
Numbers Game
Right to Buy was back in the news following the Conservative manifesto pledge to extend the privilege to housing association tenants.Introduced at the start of the 1980s, Right to Buy was a hugely successful policy with tens of thousands of local authority...
Obituary: BILL JOLLIFFE
William Orlando Jolliffe (better known as 'Bill'), CIPFA president in 1979/80, died aged 89 in FebruaryBill Jolliffe was a very distinguished member of the institute and one who achieved high office within his chosen career. He was county treasurer of...
Opportunity Costs Who Wins from the Outsourcing Revolution?
IT WAS PART of Margaret Thatcher's revolution in the 1980s, along with privatisation and getting on your bike, and has been gathering pace ever since. Outsourcing - employing private sector providers to deliver public services - is now so firmly entrenched...
Prescription for the NHS Is More Change
The NHS is rarely far from the centre of any general election campaign and this one is no different. Despite retired NHS chief Sir David Nicholson's warning that the political parties are ignoring its 'substantial' financial problems, their manifestos...
Right to Buy - at What Cost?
Don't you just love political parties? They promise, promise, promise but when they win power find that delivery is so much harder. Whether on student fees or eradicating the deficit, actions do not seem to match the words.One of the most eyecatching...
Section 151 Officers Could Sue as DIP Protections Are Scrapped
Councils could face breach of contract claims from Section 151 officers after last-minute government changes to the rules on dismissal from top posts, an employment lawyer has warned.Sarah La mont, a partner at law firm Bevan Brittan, told Public Finance...
Shared Values
As I write, pre-election posturing is in full swing, including an unexpected pledge from the Conservatives to extend the Right to Buy to social housing tenants in property' owned by housing associations, rather than their local council. This comes wrapped...
Visions for Education
the conservative-led coalition government is likely to be remembered for its radical reforms to the education system in England as much as for its focus on deficit reduction.Under Michael Gove and Nicky Morgan, the Department for Education has overseen...
Watchdog Watch
WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE WORLD OF REGULATION AND INSPECTIONNational Audit OfficeThe National Audit Office has published the Code of Audit Practice for local public bodies, which includes a duty for auditors to consider how best to gain assurance over pooled...
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