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Public sector finances

Covid has taken its toll on both the health of the general public and on public sector finances. We investigate the shape of government finances, both in the UK and internationally.

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Two medical professionals walking and talking in a hospital corridor 15 OCT 2021
Solving the growing crisis in children’s social care

The piecemeal nature of procurement in children’s social care services, coupled with local authorities’ financial struggles, is creating a chaotic and ultra-competitive market that is not sustainable.

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Chart
A chart showing the proportions between different types of public debt (index-linked, variable rate, etc.) before and after quantitative easing. 14 OCT 2021
Chart of the week: UK public debt profile

Our chart this week shines a spotlight on the UK’s public debt, focusing on the Government’s debt strategy ahead of the fast approaching Spending Review.

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Article
A timber-frame building under construction. 09 OCT 2021
IPSAS vs IFRS

What is the most suitable accounting framework for the public sector?

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Chart
A chart showing the number of people in full-time public sector employment over the last 20 years. 07 OCT 2021
Chart of the week: UK public sector employment

Our chart this week is on public sector employment, the cost of which is one of the largest components of the Spending Review in a few weeks’ time.

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Article
The UK Treasury building's pediment 05 OCT 2021
Mazars: tax system could be leveraged for sustainability

Clive Fathers, tax partner at Mazars, uses tax data collected in the ICAEW Tax Race over the last 50 years to foreshadow a more digital and sustainable tax landscape.

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Article
A pair of hands washing themselves 05 OCT 2021
A balance sheet approach may be needed by the EU following COVID

The method of reporting deficits and debts by EU Member States may need to change following the disruption of COVID, say Giovanna Dabbicco and Josette Caruana, two researchers who have scrutinised public sector finances and the adequacy of existing reporting mechanisms.

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Hub
Analysis from ICAEW's experts on the Autumn Budget 2021 and the comprehensive spending review published on 27 October 2021. 05 OCT 2021
Autumn Budget 2021

On 27 October 2021, alongside the publication of the government's comprehensive spending review, the Chancellor will announce the details of his second budget of 2021. Read ICAEW's analysis and reaction.

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Article
Empty seats in a conference room 05 OCT 2021
How do you manage a single issue across all of government?

How to collaborate across departments has long been a conundrum for large organisations. But when that organisation is central government, there is a huge price to pay for failing to be coordinated across departments.

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Article
A person holding hands with an elderly person 04 OCT 2021
Portugal’s new framework for Intergenerational Fairness

A new framework document aims to encourage more discussion of intergenerational fairness and provide policymakers with the tools to reshape policy design.

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Article
A person holding a drink in one hand and a phone showing a trading app in the other 04 OCT 2021
KPMG: pandemic an opportunity to level up tax system

Tim Sarson, head of tax policy at KPMG UK, assesses key drivers behind the top-performing tax policies over the last five decades using ICAEW’s Tax Race findings.

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Article
Business people talking at a table. 01 OCT 2021
HMRC, Companies House and collaboration across government

Achieving efficiencies across government departments is to be applauded. Mark Chandler, Advisory Accountant at HMRC talks to ICAEW Insights about how collaboration is being achieved with Companies House and other UK Government departments.

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Article
public sector thumbnail 01 OCT 2021
Addressing the climate emergency in the UK public sector

The UK has a lot of work to do and a dwindling amount of time in which to do it.

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Chart
A chart showing the government's takings from different UK taxes over the last five decades. 30 Sep 2021
The ICAEW Tax Race: 54 years in the making

How has the government’s ‘take’ from different UK taxes changed over the last five decades? ICAEW looks at this question with an interactive ‘Tax Race’ graphic.

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Chart
A chart showing capital investment budgets from 2019-2020 until 2025-26, as they stand before the upcoming Spending Review. 30 Sep 2021
Chart of the week: capital investment before the Spending Review

Given that capital budgets are often the first to be cut when money is tight, will the planned growth in capital investment survive the Spending Review later this month?

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Article
A person wearing scrubs working at a laptop 29 Sep 2021
International approaches to reduce public sector deficit: Deloitte Cyprus

Pieris Markou, Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte Cyprus, tells ICAEW Insights that tourism and tax will not be enough to fill the hole in public finances left by COVID - the island must continue to bring in foreign investment.

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Chart
A chart showing the end dates of the Coronavirus relief schemes. 29 Sep 2021
Chart: COVID support schemes are ending, but what continues?

The furlough and self-employed support schemes come to an end today, as does the VAT reduction for hospitality and tourism to 5%, which is increased to 12.5% tomorrow. ICAEW has produced a timeline for the schemes that remain.

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Article
Whitehall, London. 29 Sep 2021
UK government sets out 10-year plan to become AI ‘superpower’

The new National AI Strategy sets out a number of measures to encourage, growth, innovation and adoption of AI technologies across the UK.

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Article
A person typing into a calculator 28 SEP 2021
Will acting on climate change push up inflation – or would not acting be worse?

Sunday Times Economics Editor David Smith writes an exclusive column for ICAEW’s Financial Services faculty every month. This month he covers how climate change could affect inflation.

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Article
A person in a wheelchair 28 SEP 2021
Can pensions really be the foundations of building back after the pandemic?

Laura Miller looks at whether the idea to use pension fund cash to fund infrastructure investments, as suggested by the government, would work.

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Article
The bottom portion of some Doric columns 27 Sep 2021
HMRC’s priorities: Spending Review, COVID-19, Brexit

ICAEW Insights asks Justin Holliday, Chief Finance Officer at HMRC, about the tax authority’s priorities and strategy, given the turbulence and change of the past 18 months.

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Article
Stacks of gold coins on sitting within different hexagons drawn on a surface 21 Sep 2021
Bad debts hit public finances as last year’s deficit is revised up to £325bn

Manifesto-breaching tax rise does not mean the end of the financial challenges facing the Chancellor in the run up to the Autumn Budget and three-year Spending Review on 27 October.

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Article
An elderly person in a wheelchair looking out of a window with a carer standing beside them. 21 Sep 2021
NAO investigation: DWP underpaid more than £1bn in State Pensions

The Department for Work & Pensions estimates that it underpaid 134,000 pensioners more than £1bn in State Pensions - almost £9,000 per pensioner.

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Article
A nurse working at a laptop 17 Sep 2021
Finance function skills uplifted across NHS Wales

A Finance Academy that enables every member of staff working in NHS Wales Finance to learn and progress can only be a benefit.

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Article
UK Houses of Parliament 9 Sep 2021
Finance business partnering: in government

The UK Government’s concept of the ‘finance business partner’ is best explained by someone who does the job. We find out what this concept means in practice.

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Article
Graphs on a computer screen 9 Sep 2021
UK Council stares down deficit and innovates

Waverley Borough Council talks us through its funding challenges, service delivery achievements and the seemingly impenetrable nature of local authority accounts.

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Article
Man at Machine 13 Aug 2021
Getting the machinery of government to work

Former Downing Street policy chief Dan Corry believes the return of Public Service Agreements could help the government get more out of the hundreds of billions of public money it spends each year.

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Article
An empty conference chair at a desk with a microphone 11 Aug 2021
Big Issue founder submits Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill

Lord Bird, founder of the Big Issue magazine and a Crossbench peer, wants to embed long-term thinking into the workings of government.

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Article
A person holding a phone showing a negative COVID-19 test result 4 Aug 2021
COVID: financial risk to taxpayers ‘will run for 20 years’

The Public Accounts Committee has published the final report from their COVID-19 Cost Tracker Update inquiry, finding substantial risk levied to taxpayer finances through government response.

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Article
A person in front of computer screens showing graphs 23 Feb 2021
Digital infrastructure roll-out: acceleration and reach

23 February 2021: When the National Infrastructure Commission was established in 2015 to advise government on economic infrastructure, digital communications were just part of the mix. Now it is more essential than ever.

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