What price ‘peace of mind’ for social care?

The Dilnot reforms to the social care funding system were supposed to have solved the problem. But do the changes provide value for money and can they endure?
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Business rates reform is needed to boost local economies

Amid a changing municipal landscape, local enterprise partnerships, business improvement districts and businesses themselves need to take a lead on developing reforms to the out-of-date system of business rates. Read more

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Public service outsourcing: profit capping is in the public interest

There are strong reasons for profit capping and sharing in outsourcing deals, including to bolster moves to introduce universal accounting standards for all public service contracts. However, there will also be challenges that need to be overcome.

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Council tax support: Pickles’ muscular localism in action

Local authorities faced some unenviable choices when Council Tax Benefit was devolved to town halls. Evidence is now emerging of the impact of the reforms.

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The need for positive partnerships in the NHS

Moves to boost the role of the finance profession in the NHS require a new collaboration between accountants and doctors, as well as an improved understanding of costs across the health service.

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Will local government reform in Wales deliver?

Major local government reorganisation is coming in Wales, with plans to reduce the number of principal authorities from 22 to 12. It needs adequate funding and realistic timescales if it is to succeed. Read more

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Time to play catch up on Right to Buy

The Treasury needs to let go of the Right to Buy reins. Councils must be given the freedom to focus on replacing those homes that have been sold. Read more

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The shrinking state

Whatever the election brings, something that feels like austerity will continue. George Osborne’s tenure at the Treasury has locked Britain into permanently lower taxes and smaller government Read more

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Outsourcing: green light for contract transparency

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has committed to adopting a set of standardised transparency provisions in government outsourcing contracts. This is an important step in making these deals more open and accountable.

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Pension freedoms demand a default option

There’s little evidence to suggest that workers with defined contribution pension pots have the financial savvy to make wise choices with their money. A default automatic income plan would help head off the risk of a rise in pensioner poverty. Read more

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