Magazine article Public Finance

Round-Up

Magazine article Public Finance

Round-Up

Article excerpt

* Too much food packaging by supermarkets is undermining local authorities' efforts to recycle and is adding to council tax bills, the Local Government Association claimed this week. In a survey published on February 16, the LGA said almost 40% of supermarket food packaging was difficult to recycle. LGA chair Margaret Eaton said: 1At a time when we're in recession and shoppers are feeling the pinch, we have to move on from a world that toierates ding-filmed coconuts and shrink-wrapped tins of baked beans. Families are fed up with having to carry so much packaging home from the supermarket.' The LGA is calling on the government to make retailers responsible for funding the collection of packaging so they have a direct incentive to produce less.

* The proportion of complaints against the NHS upheld by the Healthcare Commission has risen by 50% in a year. Of the 9,000 complaints referred to the commission in 2007, 30% were upheld compared with 20% in 2006. Healthcare Commission chief executive Anna Walker said while it was encouraging that the number of complaints received remained relatively small considering the millions of treatments provided by the NHS, the service still needed to learn from its mistakes. 1It is very important that people feel that they can complain about their NHS trust if they need to and that the trust will respond positively to their complaint and learn general lessons from it,' she said.

* Applications for undergraduate courses at UK universities have risen by 8%, according to figures released on February 16. Universities admissions body Ucas said applications from over-21s rose by 13% and from people from other European Union countries by 12%. Diana Warwick, chief executive of Universities UK, said: 'Applicants are making informed choices and thinking carefully about the value of higher education, particularly in the current economic climate. …

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