Cuts in the City: How Manchester Fared in 2011

Tonight (Thursday 22) and tomorrow the BBC Radio 4 PM programme will carry items by reporter Andrew Bomford about how greater Manchester has fared over the past year in the face of a sluggish economy and large public spending cuts. It’s based on a report we wrote for them on the impact of the cuts (which you can get here). Continue reading “Cuts in the City: How Manchester Fared in 2011”

Academy Schools Funding System Fails – quelle surprise

I have been predicting for some time that some of the big structural changes to public services are likely to destabilise the financial systems in health, education and local government. So it comes as no surprise that tens of millions of pounds have been ‘accidentally’ awarded to new Academy Schools.  Continue reading “Academy Schools Funding System Fails – quelle surprise”

George Osborne’s Autumn Statement: We’re All Doomed

George Osborne’s “Autumn Statement” is certainly not a Pre Budget Report, as he promised it would not be. Instead, it is much more like a mini-Budget or even, given the timescales involved in many announcements, a mini-Spending Review. Continue reading “George Osborne’s Autumn Statement: We’re All Doomed”

Leadership of the British Civil Service: All Change?

Last week I gave evidence – alongside Professor Lord Peter Hennessy and Professor Tony Dean –  to the Public Administration Select Committee in Parliament on the changes taking place at the top of the UK Civil Service. The uncorrected minutes of the evidence session can be found here.

Other evidence sessions and the terms of reference and other information for the PASC inquiry can be found on their website here.

I also have articles examining different aspects of these changes appearing in Public Finance and Public Servant magazines over the next few weeks.

Confusion and Denationalisation at the centre of the Health and Social Care Bill

I reprint below an excellent briefing by Professor Allyson Pollock and colleagues on key clauses of the Health and Social Care Bill.

It addresses two critical issues:

  • The removal of  legal responsibility from the Secretary of State to prove health services and
  • The confusing mixture of ‘person-based’ and ‘area-based’ arrangements for patients (and consequently funding arrangements – something I’ve brought up here before).

Continue reading “Confusion and Denationalisation at the centre of the Health and Social Care Bill”

Evidence Session: PASC to question academics and journalists about Head of the Civil Service role

Public Administration Select Committee – Announcement

EVIDENCE SESSION: PASC TO QUESTION ACADEMICS AND JOURNALISTS ABOUT HEAD OF THE CIVIL SERVICE ROLE

Tuesday 15 November 2011 Continue reading “Evidence Session: PASC to question academics and journalists about Head of the Civil Service role”

Greek Deficit and Tax Evasion

One issue that keeps coming up around the Greek crisis is the degree of tax evasion. In the slide below I report the average Greek budget deficit per year on a decade by decade basis since the 1960s (figures on the left – calculated from OECD figures in an excellent paper you can find here). Continue reading “Greek Deficit and Tax Evasion”

Theresa May: déjà vu all over again

[I appeared briefly on Newsnight commenting on this – the item is about 20 mins in].

A British Home Secretary faces a media firestorm over a major blunder in one of the Home Office’s Executive Agencies. A senior agency official is blamed to shift attention away from Ministers. He resigns and hits back, hard and sues the Home Office and wins.

Theresa May (Home Secretary) and  Brodie Clarke (UK Borders Agency)? Well yes, but it could also be Michael Howard (Home Secretary) and Derek Lewis (Director General of the Prison Service) back in 1995. Continue reading “Theresa May: déjà vu all over again”