Magazine article Public Finance

Hodge Is the New Chair of the PAC

Magazine article Public Finance

Hodge Is the New Chair of the PAC

Article excerpt

Former culture minister Margaret Hodge has been elected chair of the Public Accounts Committee.

The Labour MP for Barking saw off the challenge from four other Labour MPs to take the post, widely regarded as one of the most influential backbench roles in Parliament

Hodge was minister for culture and tourism in 2007 to 2008 and again from 2009 to 2010. She was also minister for children between 2003 and 2005.

In the run-up to her election, she promised to conduct a 'postmortem' on the Labour government's public spending. She also said she would consider setting up a crosscommittee inquiry, mvolving the Treasury select committee, to review the public sector deficit.

Former Labour whip Clive Betts beat former local government minister Nick Raynsford to take over as chair of the communities and local government select committee.

Speaking to Public Finance after his election, Betts warned that funding cuts could have 'devastating' effects on local government and harm the most needed services.

He added that if councils were being forced to make cuts they would have to be given greater control of their finances and the CLG select committee would have a central role in building consensus for change. …

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