Public Finance

Articles from March 2010

AMs Vote for Independent Board to Set Pay and Expenses
Welsh Assembly members have backed proposals to have their pay and expenses entitlements set by an independent board.The cross-party legislative committee that has been considering changes to the remuneration of AMs this week endorsed the measure, proposed...
Budget Likely to Do Little More Than 'Tread Water', Warns IFS
Economists are predicting a Budget of 'masterly or not so masterly inactivity' when Chancellor Alistair Darling puts his proposals to Parliament on March 24.The Budget will come less than a week after the public finance figures for February are released...
Efficiency Plan Will Put Focus on Collaboration
A Welsh efficiency drive will foster innovation and collaboration in areas where not enough is being done, the minister leading the scheme has told Public Finance.Led by the Welsh Assembly Government, the Efficiency and Innovation Programme will bring...
Events
March* MARCH 16, APRIL 28, MAY 11, 27, JUNE 9Commissioning from the third sector training programmeA free Improvement & Development Agency and CIPFA event for commissioners and finance staff across the public sector aimed at increasing awareness...
Facing the Facts
CUTTING THE FISCAL deficit will be the biggest challenge facing the next government. Whether it is a Conservative administration, which is committed to introducing an emergency budget in June, a re-elected Labour government or a hung Parliament, financial...
Five Stories You Might Have Missed This Week
Learning from the bestEfforts to improve child safety in Northumberland, Sunderland's anti-crime strategies and Trafford's work helping adults to take charge of their own care were all recognised at the inaugural Local Innovation Awards.The awards, launched...
Funding 'Failing to Reduce Health Inequality'
Billions of pounds' worth of spending targeted on reducing the health gap between the rich and the poor has led to only patchy improvement across England, the Audit Commission has found.Healthy balance, a public health expenditure study published on...
Giving Up the Ghost
IN GREECE, RIOTERS throng the streets as outsiders 'helpfully' suggest its islands should be sold off to reduce the fiscal deficit. In the US, President Obama's health reforms remain bogged down though, without them, health spending will rise from the...
Gold Standards
THIS year it was the skeleton bob. Eight years ago, it was curling. The UK doesn't win many gold medals at the Winter Olympics, so the press focuses on those athletes who do.Public finance isn't like that. International Financial Reporting Standards...
Home Office Asks for £80M to Cover Overspend
The Home Office has been forced to ask Parliament for almost £80m in extra funds after failing to set aside enough to cover the possibility of losing a court case over police pensions.The bailout is revealed in two reports - one from the government and...
In the Line of Fire
The late British general Sir Walter Walker's robust views on the civil service came to mind this week as a two-day strike disrupted court hearings, jobcentres, driving tests and the operations of both the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly.Walker,...
Lottery 'Might Not Recoup Its Olympic Funding'
Olympic chiefs are unable to guarantee that the Games' legacy will generate enough revenue to recoup hundreds of millions of pounds' worth of additional investment from the National Lottery.Jonathan Stephens, permanent secretary of the Department for...
MPs Slate Fast Turnover of Ministers
Whitehall departments are underperforming because ministers are not remaining in post long enough to see through their policies, MPs said last week.Two studies, by the Commons' communities & local government and transport select committees, are the...
On the Move
Economist Kate Barker (below) is to step down from the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee when her term expires at the end of May.Barker has served on the MPC since 2001, having previously been chief economic adviser at the CBl and. before that...
Out of Step?
IT IS A ministerial post that is deeply enshrined in history. The post of secretary of state for Scotland can be traced back as far as the Act of Union in 1707 and has been held by many famous figures over the years.Arthur Balfour, who was appointed...
Planning Is Safe in Our Hands
YOUR COVER FEATURE on the Conservatives' planning green paper drew a number of misleading conclusions and I welcome the opportunity to set the record straight (*Left high and dry\ by Peter Hetherington, February 26-March 4).The most substantial error...
Police Watchdog to Put More Forces' Information Online
The police regulator is to publish more data in an easily understood format online, in an effort to make its assessments more relevant to ordinary people.The Inspectorate of Constabulary will launch MyPolice.org.uk on March 13. It will offer searchable...
Q & A: Worcester Source
E-mail your job moves to: hollie.ewers@publicfinance.co.uk Rease include your daytime telephone numberDuncan Sharkey took over as managing director of Worcester council this week. He tells Hollie Ewers about the role and the cold feeling he got from...
Recession Slowing Regeneration Efforts
Government efforts to close the gap between England's most deprived neighbourhoods and the rest of the country have been set back by the recession, a study has shown.Between 2001 and 2007, the widening of the gap had been halted and partly reversed,...
Scots NHS Makes Progress in Waiting List Changes
Changes to the management of NHS waiting lists In Scotland have made the system fairer for patients but more needs to be done to ensure it works effectively, Audit Scotland has found.The watchdog, which carried out a study into the changes in the management...
Social Care Talks Collapse as Parties Fall Out
Hopes of reaching a political consensus on elderly care funding before the election have been dashed.Fresh rows broke out between the three main parties at a summit convened by the charity Age Concern & Help the Aged on March 10, expected to be the...
The Fiscal Trap
THE UK GOVERNMENT is pushing on with plans to reform the income tax system in Scotland, following the recommendations of Sir Kenneth Caiman's Commission on Scottish Devolution. In most circumstances, this rush to reform would be welcome, but there are...
Tories Would Delay Scottish Powers
A Conservative government would delay implementation of plans to increase the finance powers of the Scottish Parliament until a full analysis had been carried out by the UK Treasury, Public Finance has been told.Tt has emerged that it could be up to...
Two More Bids for Eco-Towns
Two further councils have put forward plans to build eco-towns, bringing the total of local authority bids to ILEast Devon and Fareham councils proposed new settlements on the outskirts of Exeter and Fareham, under the second round ofthe scheme.Ministers...
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