Brexit financial risks for councils

Like the rest of the UK economy, local authorities are working through the implications of the frankly unexpected EU referendum result. Councils are accustomed to having to make sense of national decisions that have not always been thought through in terms of their local impact, but in the case of Brexit they are working in a (hopefully temporary) vacuum of …

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Chancellor Budget Treasury Briefcase

Self-sufficiency in austerity

What the OBR giveth, the OBR taketh away. Back in November, the Chancellor was able to use better than expected Office of Budget Responsibility forecasts for the public finances to abandon tax credit changes and slightly ease aspects of his austerity programme for public spending. Today’s budget saw those OBR forecasts weaken, and the Chancellor has decided to respond by …

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Pound Sterling Cash Change

Impending changes to local government pension funds

In October 2015 George Osborne announced that assets of the 89 Local Government Pension Schemes would be pooled into six British Wealth Funds. He said the move would save hundreds of millions in costs and that the wealth funds would invest billions in regional infrastructure. Undoubtedly there will be cost savings, and this was being acknowledged prior to the Chancellor’s …

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Reaction to Autumn Statement

Going into today’s Autumn Statement, the Chancellor appeared to have little room for manoeuvre given the sheer number of self-imposed constraints on his tax and spending priorities. He had ruled out tax increases, set a welfare cap and protected budgets for the NHS, schools, defence and overseas aid. The remaining unprotected public services prepared for the worst from the Spending …

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Piggy Bank Injured Budgetting

Budgeting under pressure

The current news story on Oxfordshire County Council’s budget-setting challenges has focused attention on a process underway in every council across the country, normally well away from national media coverage. Indeed perhaps the most striking thing about recent local authority budget rounds is how little news they have made (with some significant local exceptions) despite the size of the spending …

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Welcome to Let’s Talk Public Services

Welcome to this new blog from Mazars’ team of auditors and advisors working with UK public service organisations. Our aim for this blog is to provide a place in which public service practitioners can exchange experience and ideas relevant to their jobs. Austerity and devolution are taking us all into uncharted territory, and with this blog hope to help make …

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Who will care for us?

If we believe what we read, the care sector is in crisis. Costs are escalating as people are living longer, with the Office for National Statistics reporting that the fastest-growing age group in the UK population is 85 and over. I’m left asking the question who will care for us, those we care about and the most vulnerable in our …

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