Public Finance

Articles from November 2008

Battle on Regardless
You have to be over a certain age to remember Neddy. Not the character in the Goons, but the National Economic Development Council, aka NEDC, or more familiarly, Neddy. Prime Minister Gordon Brown is just about old enough to recall it, and as an economic...
Cases of Fraud and Error Fall but Losses Rise
Losses from internal fraud and theft in Whitehall increased from £3.9m to over £4m in the past financial year despite a fall in the number of reported cases, a Treasury report has said.The Fraud Report 2O07/08: an analysis of reported fraud in government...
Civil Service-Wide Talks Set to Start as PCS Suspends Strike
Civil service-wide pay talks are set to take place over the next three weeks after the Public and Commercial Services union suspended a national strike planned for November 10.The move, which follows the National Union of Teachers' decision not to call...
Councils Taking Lead in Tackling Local Effects of Recession
Town halls are using newly devolved powers to help residents and businesses deal with the economic slowdown, council leaders have said.The Regional Economic Council, part of the economic recovery package announced by the prime minister in October, also...
Councils under Fire for Doubling Reserves
The amount of money held in council reserves has rocketed upwards, more than doubling since 1997, government figures have revealed.Union leaders criticised local authorities for holding down pay and threatening cuts to jobs and services while town hall...
Economists Back 'Tax Cuts and Spend' Approach
The government could announce a combined package of tax cuts, benefit measures and capital spending to provide a 'fiscal stimulus' to the economy in thePre- Budget Report, economists have suggested. Prime Minister Gordon Brown this week repeatedly signalled...
Elections for Police Representatives Will Cost £30M
The taxpayer will have to pay out more than £30m to fund directly elected police representatives, research suggests.A Local Government Association survey, published on November 12, found the elections would cost an estimated £31.9m, a sum that could...
EU Threatens UK with £190M 'Funding Errors' Bill
The UK government might have to repay £190m for errors made in allocating European Union regional funding across the country, as the European Commission seeks to toughen up controls on spending.The commission hopes to finalise proposals which will result...
Fall in Demand for Recycled Materials Must Not Lead to Increase in Landfill, Says Defra
The government has said landfill should remain a last resort for waste disposal despite fears over a lack of suitable storage for recycled materials.In a joint statement, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Environment Agency,...
Fear over Post Office Closures as DWP Delays Card Account Decision
Government indecision over whether to leave Royal Mail in charge of the Post Office card account has left the fate of 3,000 post offices in the balance, senior MPs said this week.In a report published on November 10, the Commons business, enterprise...
Healthcare Commission Criticised over Its Evaluation of Services' Cost-Effectiveness
An economist who led work at the Healthcare Commission on value for money in the health service has criticised the commission's approach to evaluating the costeffectiveness of services.Peter West, a senior research associate at the York I Iealth Economics...
Letters
You can e-mail your letters to tetterstoedltor@publicflnence.co.uk or fax them to: OZO 7543 5793. Please include your name and address and a daytime phone number. The editor reserves ine right to edit lettersMaurice Stonefrost remembered as an inspiration...
No Train, No Gain
For those who leam and work in the UK's further education and skills sector, this is a momentous time of change. There is the threat of upheaval, as employers consider whether to respond to recession by cutting training budgets. To counter this, on October...
One Rule for Us
The credit crunch has had both a direct and indirect impact on the government s public expenditure plans. Support for the financial sector - and the part-nationalisation of a number of banks have directly added to expenditure and debt levels. At the...
Playing by the Rules
Were all tax cutters now. All the main political parties are united in their support for a tax reduction to help the country deal with what is likely to be a very deep recession.Such generosity has to be paid for, however, and that's where the unity...
Please Give Generously
The gung-ho City bankers seemed a million miles and billions of pounds away from the charities and community groups supporting those on the margins of our society. Yet the past few months have seen their worlds collide.Charities are known to have lost...
Round-Up
* Nine areas haw been given special government funding with the aim of becoming 'healthy towns' under a plan by ministers to combat obesity. Dudley, Halifax, Sheffield, Tower Hamlets in London, Thetford in Norfolk, Middlesbrough, Manchester, Tewkesbury...
RSLs Slam Plans to End Homes for Life
Housing association leaders have joined council tenants in condemning proposals to end the right of people in social housing to a lifetime tenancy.The proposals, made to ministers last month by the Chartered Institute of Housing, were instantly dismissed...
Scotland Reorganises Capital Spending to Boost Economy
The Scottish Government Is reshaping its capital investment programme to boost the economy, Finance Secretary John Swinney has told an influential committee of MSPs.At a meeting of the Parliament's finance committee this week In Ayr, he outlined a series...
Scots Councils 'Not Doing Enough' to Ensure Race Equality
Local authorities in Scotland need to give race equality a higher priority, an Investigation by the local government watchdog has found.In a report published on November 13, the Accounts said councils had developed policies and a range of Initiatives...
Turn Left at the Next Election
Barack Obama's victory in the US presidential election was a personal triumph, but it was also a triumph for the centre-Left. This is not to suggest that Americans - still less the candidate - have suddenly turned into socialists. They clearly have not.However,...
Waste Body Tries to Salvage PFI Deal
Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority has more than tripled its borrowing limit to plug a financing gap that threatens to derail its £3bn Private Finance Initiative scheme.GMWDA, which brings together local authorities across the region, is battling...
Westminster 'Holding Back Devolution'
The UK government has been accused of trying to stop the process of Scottish selfgovernment after refusing to make any commitment to increase the powers of the Holyrood ParliamentIn a 126-page submission this week to the Caiman commission on devolution,...
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