Public Finance

Articles from No. 4, April

Chancellor Accused of Destroying Pension Policy
Chancellor George Osborne's pension reforms will bring in a short-term boost for the public finances but have been criticised for a lack of consultation and long-term modelling of their impact.In the centrepiece announcement of his Budget statement,...
Charting Recovery
as budget cuts take hold, local authorities increasingly look towards economic opportunities that offer scope for regional growth. In particular, councils are taking advantage of a new breed of initiatives that derogate control of budgets away from central...
CIPFA Events
CIPFA\ The Chartered Institute of l Public Finance & AccountancyGPFA, 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...
Clear out the Clutter
the public sector is well advanced in producing high-quality, audited, accrual-based financial statements. However, an important question remains - is the information they contain being used as intended by the standard setters, to inform decision making...
Coming Up
TEACHING FOCUSOfeted is consulting on changes to the way it inspects teachertraining providers. From the summer term of this year it wants to introduce a twostage inspection model, which would gather evidence on outcomes for trainees as well as the quality...
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.May 14 - 15 WinchesterAudit...
Employers to Plug £1Bn Pensions Gap
Public sector pension contribution increases announced in the Budget will hit services and hinder attempts to expand provision by private firms and charities, the government has been warned.The Government Actuary's Department is close to completing its...
Garden City Plan 'Needs Blank Sheet of Paper'
The government agency announced by George Osborne to lead the creation of a garden city at Ebbsfleet in Kent must be given a "blank sheet of paper5 free from council planning agreements, the chair of the area's local enterprise partnership has said.Peter...
High Anxiety at Flight of the Banks
Will the last bank to leave Scotland please turn out the lights? That's what the unionist Better Together campaign has been saying with undisguised glee after a succession of large finance houses including Royal Bank of Scotland, HBOS, Standard Life...
Let's Stick Together for Future of NHS Finance
When the first NHS trusts were introduced in the early 1990s many commentators argued that the resultant purchaser/provider split would encourage the health service in general, and its finance profession in particular, to split along tribal lines, with...
Letters
The conundrum of funding health and social careCongratulations on commissioning two pieces for PF on the interaction between health and social care (Winter pressure politics and Brave new world disorders, Public Finance, January/February 2014).These...
Many Happy Returns?
when A 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck Richmond, Virginia in the US, residents in New York read about the quake on Twitter 30 seconds before they experienced the quake themselves. This illustrates how the use of social media and electronic communications...
New (New) Public Management
Public services need to be turned on their head, so they start from people and their needs rather than universal entitlements. We have to manage demand while generating better social valueNow is when we ought to be turning our sights to the medium-term...
News: In Brief
PERMA-CUTSWhitehall spending cuts of £lbn In 2015/16 were made permanent and a new Charter for Budget Responsibility Is to be brought forward In the autumn.REACHING PEAKGrowth is expected to reach its pre-recession peak this year. According to Office...
No Pain, No Gain?
George Osborne has reputedly been on the fashionable 5:2 diet. And like his economic plan, he seems to think it's working.Now, judging by his Budget speech, he wants to roll out the regimen for the public at large. But there's an important twist.Unlike...
Numbers Game
Austerity continues for the public sector, but there has been a huge improvement in the performance of the economy.This became clear when George Osborne delivered his fifth Budget on March 19. The chancellor announced improved growth forecasts, better...
Obituary: Alan Titheridge 1949-2014
Alan Titheridge, who died in February 2014, had worked in London local authorities for almost 30 years, before moving into the private sector where he continued to develop council services.Alan started his career as a rates clerk in Islington, north...
Scots Cool on Oil, Warm on Whisky
Scottish reactions to the Budget were coloured by the prospect of the September independence referendum.George Osborne announced a downgrading of oil revenue forecasts. This, he claimed, would leave every adult in an independent Scotland £1,000 worse...
Silk Seeks Trio of Powers for Cardiff
The Welsh Assembly in Cardiff should take on powers over policing, justice and transport, according to the Commission on Devolution in Wales.Following its 2012 report on greater financial powers for Wales, the commission published its second report on...
'Smooth' Switch to National Force
Vic Emery, the chair of Scotland's controversial national police authority, laid claim to a successful first year in operation, but admitted there was further to travel.Outstanding challenges included better communications, distinguishing governance...
Swinney's Call to Innovators
Scotland's public finance professionals should not wait for political permission before innovating to reform and improve service delivery, Finance Secretary John Swinney told the CIPFA Scotland conference in Clydebank.Swinney admitted to fears that the...
The Election Unknowns
Who will win the 2015 general election? The pundits queue up to make confident predictions; but the truth is that no one has a clue.This is rare. Since the shock of Harold Wilson's win in February 1974, every election bar one has been eminently predictable...
The NEW BROOM
spring is in the air, and the Labour Party has been doing a little light dusting to spruce up its policies ahead of the 2015 election.First up has been a vigorous shake-out of the party's relations with the unions; something Ed Miliband deems essential...
Time Up for the Unfair Tax?
We hear a lot about the cost of living these days. So much so it's become part of the mantra for freezing council tax. Put that together with the fact that nobody likes taxes (never mind the spectre of the poll tax riots) and you see why council tax...
Voice of the Nations: In Brief
SCOTLAND'S DEFICIT UPFall in North Sea revenuesA sharp fall in North Sea revenues last year increased Scotland's notional public finance deficit to £12bn, annual Government Expenditure & Revenue Scotland statistics show. Labour said the figures proved...
Watchdog Watch
MonitorMonitor has been a rigorous and effective regulator for the health service but may struggle to maintain this with more foundation trusts at financial risk, according to a review of the health service watchdog by the National Audit Office.In a...
Welfare Cap 'Locks in Austerity'
The £119bn welfare cap, announced in the Budget, 'locks in' austerity for millions of low-income families, anti-poverty campaigners warned.Chancellor George Osborne said in his March 19 statement that the cap, which comes into force in 2015/16, would...
Whitehall Not the Final Cut
the unprecedented cuts to public spending and the civil service made by the coalition government in 2010 came as no surprise to Whitehall. No-one doubted that tough measures would be required to meet the economic challenges facing the UK. It seemed the...
Wilshaw's Wars
YOU WOULD EXPECT Michael Gove and Sir Michael Wilshaw to be enjoying a marriage made in heaven. Wilshaw, the former head of Mossboume Academy in Hackney, north-east London, and now head of the inspection service Ofsted, was once hailed by the education...
Yes Campaign Leader Insists Holyrood Will Devolve Power
An independent Scotland would have an appetite for devolving power back from Holyrood to the local level, the leader of the referendum Yes campaign told the CIPFA Scotland conference.Blair Jenkins, chief executive of Yes Scotland, also predicted that...
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