Public Finance

Articles from September 2005

A Bumpy Ride for the Tories
Blackpool in October is never short of entertainment, but the resort town will next week play host to a political event that will offer an alternative to the illuminations and the Pleasure Beach for fun and games. Not even the remake of Pride and Prejudice...
A Labour of Liabilities
At a routine meeting of the Treasury select committee on July 19, the fiscal framework that had underpinned the government's economic credibility fell apart.At that meeting, Gordon Brown announced that he was unilaterally changing the date of the start...
Call for Building Targets as Projects Slip
The construction industry this week issued a surprising call for more targets and red tape as representatives called attention to the slow rate of progress on public sector building projects.The Construction Products Associations report, Achievable targets...
Delegates Rebuff Blair's Call for More Reform
Public service unions are vowing to step up their opposition to the government's controversial reform programme after bloodying ministers' noses over pensions and the NHS at the Labour Party conference in Brighton.Pressure on ministers to water down...
Employers' Latest Pension Proposals 'Are Much Worse'
Local government unions have rejected the employers' latest pension proposals as 'beyond the pale'.A national strike across local government was called off in April when Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott agreed to revoke amendments to the local government...
Events
October* OCTOBER 12CIPFA Central Government Panel's second annual conferenceChair: Curtis Juman, change director, Department for Work and Pensions.Speakers include: Mary Keegan, head of the Government Accountancy Service, and Bob Black, auditor general...
Foundations' Future 'Relies on Shaky Forecasts'
NHS foundation trusts have made good progress but their future success relies heavily on assumptions that will be difficult to realise, regulator Monitor said this week.Monitor has reviewed foundations' first set of annual plans and praised their efforts...
Health Economy Is in Dire Straits, Warns BMA
A third of NHS trusts are planning to reduce their services because of financial problems, a British Medical Association survey has found.Almost three-quarters of the 120 respondents said their trust was facing a significant funding shortfall in the...
Housden to Take over at the ODPM
New Cabinet secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell has chosen a local government expert to lead the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister - and promoted a specialist to manage the Northern Ireland Office.O'Donnell has appointed Peter Housden, formerly the director...
Leaked Papers Show Ministers Plan Greater NHS Role for Private Firms
Leaked official documents suggest that the government is planning far wider private sector involvement in the NHS than previously admitted, a senior member of the Commons health select committee has told Public Finance.The documents, seen by PF, relate...
Letters
You can e-mail your letters to letterstoeditor@publicfinance.co.uk or fax them to: 020 7543 5793. Please include your name and address and a daytime phone number. The editor reserves the right to edit lettersTop team needs accountant's skillContrary...
Life and Soul of the Party
Three weeks by the seaside with Britain's politicians is enough to convince any dispassionate observer that our political parties are all in a sorry state. And that if the party conference season didn't exist, we would try very hard not to invent it.But...
McCabe Hits Back at Scots Efficiency Critics
Scottish Finance Minister Tom McCabe this week launched a counter-attack against the wave of criticism of the Executive's £1.2bn efficient government initiative.McCabe insisted it was 'utter nonsense' to claim the Executive was unable to show where resources...
Miliband Firm on 'No Fourth Option'
There will be no 'fourth option for funding improvements to housing stock and councils must use private money to achieve the decent homes standard, David Miliband was due to warn delegates on September 29.As Public Finance went to press, the local government...
More Haste, Less Speed
We already know that Tony Blair does not possess a reverse gear. But now the prime minister tells us that he should have gone further sooner in his reform of public services.Blair informed delegates at the Labour Party conference in Brighton this week...
News: In Brief
* Conservative Party members have turned down leader Michael Howard's proposals to give MPs the main say in choosing his successor. Only 61% voted in favour of the changes, short of the required two-thirds majority. The party's $300,000 members will...
Nipsa Tells Hain to Leave NI Public Sector Alone
Northern Ireland secretary Peter Hain has been criticised by the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance for calling for a reduction in the size of the province's public sector.Nipsa general secretary John Corey said: 'There is no doubt there are massive...
Nothing Succeeds Like
As the government promises yet another radical agenda for the nations schools, education watchers might be forgiven a moment of cynicism. Downing Street appears to have a limitless supply of radical agendas, which, on closer inspection, are not as freshly...
Official Statistics Just Figures of Fun as Public Suspect Political Tinkering
Just 37% of people believe that national statistics are accurate, while fewer still believe that official economic data is free from political interference, according to research.A joint study by the Statistics Commission and the Office for National...
Round-Up
Members of the Public and Commercial Services union in London have voted to strike over job cuts that they claim have left services 'near breaking point'. Staff at the Child Support Agency, benefit offices and pension centres supported a walk-out in...
Tackle Antisocial Behaviour - or Explain Why Not
Police forces and local authorities that do not use the powers they have been given to tackle antisocial behaviour will be forced to explain themselves to residents, Hazel Blears has told Public Finance.The Home Office minister said her department was...
The Health Service Needs You
The sixth annual CIPFA Health Finance Conference takes place next week in the midst of the most significant changes to affect the NHS for years. The post-election landscape is becoming clear and NHS trusts and primary care trusts will be expecting the...
Tories Berate Blunkett over His Advice 'To Avoid the CSA'
Shadow work and pensions minister David Willetts has attacked the government for suggesting that parents should avoid using the troubled Child Support Agency for maintenance payments.Willetts this week dismissed Work and Pensions secretary David Blunkett's...
Union Slams Leadership Networking Programme
The National School of Government is charging business leaders £12,499 to attend a 24-day 'learning, working and networking' programme with senior civil servants and public sector managers.The Leaders UK programme, which began last week, is the first...
Victory for Councils on Back Tax
Local authorities have forced the Revenue & Customs department into a U-turn over plans to standardise the tax rates paid by councils when settling backdated equal pay claims.Public Finance has learnt that the R&C has jettisoned proposals to...
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