Magazine article Public Finance

Round-Up

Magazine article Public Finance

Round-Up

Article excerpt

* A compulsory national identity card could be used to carry out surveillance on millions of people, MF3S on the home affairs select committee have warned. In a June 9 report, the MPs called on the government to pledge that the cards would not be used as a matter of routine to spy on people. They warned of the dangers of 'function creep', with the availability of data producing unreasonable levels of surveillance. 'Any ambiguity about the objectives of the scheme puts in jeopardy the public's trust in the scheme itself and in the government's ability to run it,' they said.

* Public service union Unison has called for a rethink on plans for a new social care inspection service. It said on June 6 that changes to the inspection regime for care homes were putting the lives of elderly residents at risk. Helga Pile, Unison officer for social care, said: 'The government needs a dramatic rethink before further changes to adult social care inspections are introduced. Currently it runs the risk of carrying outstanding problems into the new system and seeing vulnerable residents left to suffer in silence.' The union says budget and staffing cuts have led to a more hands-off approach to complaints, leaving inspectors with little choice but to direct residents with grievances back to their providers.

* Five new non-executive members of the Department for Communities and Local Government's board have been announced by permanent secretary Peter Housden. They are: Polly Cochrane, marketing director at Channel 4; Debbie Hewitt, managing director of the RAC Automotive Group; Rob Vincent, chief executive of Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council; Sarah Weir, UK Cultural Olympiad launch director for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games; and Peter Doyle, chair of the Church Urban Fund.

* A centre Right think-tank has criticised the Sub-National Economic Development and Regeneration Review, saying the plans do not go far enough to devolve power to local authorities. …

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