Public Finance

Articles from No. 11, November

£25Bn Funding Gap but No Tax Increases
Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to balance the public finances by 2018 and said a Conservative government would not increase taxes to tackle the £25bn funding gap that still needs to be closed.His speech at the party's conference set out a plan...
Alexander Wants 'Fiscal Fairness' Rule
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has set out plans for deficit reduction based on three fiscal rules involving both spending cuts and tax rises.Alexander said that if the Liberal Democrats formed part of the next government, a 'fairness...
A Place for Robust Audit to Thrive in the Future
After three decades of monitoring public spending, the Audit Commission is preparing to close on March 312015 and transfer continuing functions elsewhere.One body picking up previous statutory functions of the commission will be Public Sector Audit Appointments,...
Build Your Clear Thinking Skills
The demands on public finance departments come from varying, competing directions. On the one hand we have immediate deadlines with the pressure to produce reports. Then there are conflicting demands from various stakeholders, including senior management,...
Can the Centre Hold?
on December 3, George Osborne will present his Autumn Statement to parliament, providing the final update on the government's plans for the economy and public spending before the 2015 general election. We should hope it sets a sober tone, but what will...
CIPFA Events
GPFA, the leading public finance and accountancy body, is the major event and course providerforthe public services. Our events range from tech nica I updates to conferences on strategic issues. Gjveringfinance, governance and performance topics across...
Coming of Age
WHEN THINGS GO wrong, it's natural to ask what could be done better and whether similar problems could be prevented in future. The sovereign debt crisis highlighted key gaps in the information provided by some countries on the soundness and stability...
Coming Up
CARE REFORMS FACE SCRUTINYThe National Audit Office has begun examination of the implementation of the government's wide-rangng reforms to adult social care in England. Early in 2015, the NAO will publish a report on the implementation of the first stage...
Conferences
CIPFA runs key conferences across a range of areas, from technical guidance to debate, with food for thought provided by leading speakers, experts and commentators. Search under 'conferences' at www.cipfa.org/events for our full listing.November 4 LondonNovember...
Council Tax Drags Poorest into Debt
Council tax drags poorest into debt It used to be credit cards, or unsecured personal loans, but not any more. This year, according to Citizens Advice, the number one cause of personal debt is council tax - and the reason is staring everyone in the face.Since...
Different Song, Same Tune
These are unusual times. The Fixed Term Parliament Act ensures that we know the date of the election - May 7 next year, barring an unexpected collapse of the coalition. This means the current parliament is the lamest of lame ducks. Although there has...
Ease Borrowing Rules, Says O'Neill
Local authority prudential borrowing rules will need to be reviewed if additional fiscal powers are devolved to town halls, a leading economist has said.City Growth Commission chair Jim O'Neill said its proposal to allow combined city authorities to...
Embrace the Disruptive
it is now possible for pathologists in the UK to conduct post-mortem examinations using a touch screen instead of a scalpel. With 3D digital imaging linked to an MRI scanner, pathologists can peel back layers of tissue and zoom in on the body parts they...
Forward Thinking Required
Public services are part of the foundation for a growing UK economy with healthy, educated and productive people. But current models of public services face big challenges now and in the future.We need to build a consensus across society about what our...
Health and Homes in Miliband Vision
Labour leader Ed Miliband has set out a 10-year plan for Britain that includes a £2.5bn boost for health and social care, a large expansion of housebuilding and halving the number of low-paid people in the country by 2025.Setting out his six-point proposal...
In Brief
WELSH BUDGET DEALMore cash for health and councilsThe Welsh Government has struck a two-year budget deal with the Liberal Democrats that will see an additional £225m for the NHS next year and £10m more for councils to ease social services pressures....
Lamb Says Better Care Fund 'Here to Stay' for Integration
Care minister Norman Lamb has revealed that an expanded version of the government's flagship Better Care Fund will be the likely mechanism to fully integrate health and care spending across the country.Speaking exclusively to Public Finance, the Liberal...
Numbers Game
The shift into autumn brought fiscal news almost as dark and gloomy as the weather. September's public finance figures showed that borrowing was £11.8bn - £1.6bn more than the same time last year.The figures also provided the opportunity for a six-month...
Pooled Spending Will Lead to More Mutuals, Says Maude
Government initiatives to integrate public spendingare likely to lead to the creation of more public service mutual firms that can bring local provision together, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has told Public Finance.Maude said that the 100 firms...
Referendum? What Referendum?
It is just a month since Scotland voted, by a decisive margin of 55% to 45% to remain in the UK. But it doesn't feel like it.Normally, when parties lose elections they go into a period of introspection and consolidatioa But the Scottish National Party,...
Solving the Affordability Crisis
Housing issues facing the UK have changed markedly over the last 20 years. There are fewer physical problems with housing stock, but more concerns over affordability and the environment.After the recovery from the global financial downturn, the underlying...
Stick to the Knitting?
'Stick to the knitting' is a phrase many of us have used in our everyday lives. But when the erstwhile minister for civil society, Brooks Newmark, used the expression to tell charities what they should and should not do, the sector was incandescent with...
The New Mediocre
There should be uncontained excitement at HM Treasury right now. The UK economy is set to grow at the fastest rate in the G7. And unemployment is at its lowest level since 2008. All good news for a chancellor preparing his pre-election Autumn Statement.Instead,...
Time to Get Building?
'IS IT TIME for an infrastructure push?' asks the International Monetary Fund in chapter three of the October edition of its World Economic Outlook. It's a question that has surprised many. Not so much because of what it asks, but because of who is asking...
Time 'To Get Infrastructure Right'
Expanded tax powers for Holyrood will increase the importance of infrastructure spending in Scotland in the wake of the independence referendum, senior figures in the Scottish Government's project funding body have said.Speaking to Public Finance ahead...
Uncomfortable Truths
to hear people talk at the party conferences, at which CIPFA has been running lively fringe meetings on devolution and growth, many assume the proposed elimination of the budget deficit around 2 019 will mark a return to 'politics as usual'. But the...
Watchdog Watch
Audit CommissionLocal government and NHS bodies could save as much as £440m if Whitehall extends Audit Commission contracts for local auditor services to 2020, the watchdog has said.The commission, which is due to be abolished next March, said it was...
What Price the Barnett Formula?
A veteran of Jim Callaghan's government once told me that the Barnett Formula only came into being because the Labour prime minister hated to miss his lunch. Cabinet meetings were regularly prolonged by rows between the territorial departments - the...
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