Magazine article Public Finance


Magazine article Public Finance


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Property's PR problem

* You report that some councils are investing in hotels and offices to bring in rental revenue (Public property: concrete assets,

Councils find it difficult to explain to taxpayers the reasons for investing in commercial property alongside cutting core services.

The investment provides a financial return to subsidise frontline services, but this gets drowned out by noise about upfront costs or because the asset is a commercial property like an offi ce, shop or hotel.

The question should be: is it a prudent investment with a competitive rate of return or a profitable commercial portfolio worth holding onto? Alas, the answer to this question often gets lost in the public arena.

Bob Baber

Labour must be ruthless on rail

* Labour's rail nationalisation plans would take 25% into public ownership by 2025 (Labour sets out plans for rail nationalisation, This is simply not enough, soon enough, to reap the benefits required.

Also, what if the Conservative government removes franchise break clauses to frustrate nationalisation? …

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