Magazine article Public Finance

'No Funding, No Service' Call from LGIU

Magazine article Public Finance

'No Funding, No Service' Call from LGIU

Article excerpt

Public bodies providing local services should be able to opt out of implementing new policies if central government has not provided adequate funding, according to a think-tank.

The Local Government Information Unit made the call in advance of Gordon Brown's Pre-Budget Report on December 5.

It said that such a mechanism could resolve many funding disputes between government departments and public sector bodies, since neither would benefit from the opt-out being invoked.

Organisations such as local authorities would not want to do so for fear of becoming marginalised as service providers, while Whitehall ministries would want to avoid having to find alternative means of delivering services.

Under the proposals, parliamentary select committees would give a binding ruling where disputes could not be resolved by the parties involved.

LGIU chief executive Dennis Reed told Public Finance that an opt-out regime would end the 'constant arguments' over whether the Treasury has adequately funded the statutory responsibilities placed on public bodies.

'It would mean, hopefully, that both parties would act in a more mature manner,' he added.

Brown's PBR statement to Parliament is expected to have several public sector-related announcements. …

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