Magazine article Public Finance

Nothing Ventured?

Magazine article Public Finance

Nothing Ventured?

Article excerpt

Another week, another bail-out. But this time it was the car industry that benefited from a government desperate to be seen to be doing something as the economy collapses.

Whatever happens over the next few months, Labour will get an 'A' for effort It's recapitalised the banks, reduced VAT, offered aloan guarantee to businesses and promised a huge programme of public works.

All this, apparently, is in stark contrast to the approach taken by Her Majesty's Official Opposition, which has been labelled the 'do-nothing' party for its resistance to this interventionist strategy and lack of an alternative (see cover feature on pages 20-23).

But this week the Conservatives came out fighting. They promised to create a new culture of financial discipline across Whitehall, with senior civil servants having a 'fiduciary duty' to spend taxpayers' money wisely.

In a wide-ranging speech, shadow chancellor George Osborne called for the finance director role to be beefed up. He also highlighted a National Audit Office report criticising government departments for lacking a professionally qualified FD on their board.

Some of this information is out of date, but broadly it is a positive message that will play well in the finance community. …

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