Magazine article Public Finance

Round-Up

Magazine article Public Finance

Round-Up

Article excerpt

Schools could face legal action if they do not do more to help boys catch up with girls, who currently outperform them at every stage of education, a report commissioned by the Scottish Executive has warned. The study, by researchers from Glasgow and Strathclyde universities, said schools and local authorities must give 'specific attention' to gender issues in light of forthcoming UK-wide equality legislation. 'Part three of the Bill makes discrimination on the basis of gender illegal, and authorities will have to take cognisance of this in their policies and procedures,' it says.

Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland has criticised the province's Benefit Investigation Service for failing to tackle fraud effectively, which it says costs £30m a year. The CJINI's report identified flaws in investigations and found that just one in ten cases of suspected fraud leads to some form of punishment. It also highlights what it described as 'managerial disjunction' within the Social security Agency, its sponsor body. Chief inspector of criminal justice Kit Chivers said: 'Providing BIS with valuable information to help identify suspected fraudulent activity tended to be given a lower priority [by the SSA] than other work.'

Each MP costs the taxpayer £500,000 a year, according to figures released by Commons leader Jack Straw in a written answer. They reveal that the combined costs of running the Commons and paying MPs' salaries and allowances came to £331.4m in 2004/05. The average cost per MP is up by £30,000 on the £470,000 they cost in 2002/03 and 2003/04. …

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