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Colin’s latest book
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Category Archives: Spending
by Colin R. Talbot and Carole L. Talbot University of Manchester Originally published in a CIPFA/PMPA pamphlet here (April 2011). Some of the data may be slightly dated, but the thrust of the argument remains valid and even more topical as a … Continue reading
Lord O’Donnell Suggests …. that someone rather like him should be put in charge of vetting government policy. Seriously?
Lord O’Donnell, former head of the civil service, has put forward some ideas for better scrutiny of proposed government policies. According to a report in Civil Service World: Among ideas to prevent “bad policies” from being introduced, [O’Donnell] said a … Continue reading
The Scrutiny of Public Spending: Margaret Hodge, Robert Chote, and Amyas Morse, amongst others, to discuss how Britain manages public money.
We are organising a series of debates and discussions about how Britain manages public money.
Here’s the top twenty Whitehall Watch blog posts (so far) and the number of views. This doesn’t include numbers for posts that have been republished by Public Finance, Public Servant, LSE Policy and Politics and the Huffington Post.
PM David Cameron claims we are ‘headed in the right direction’. Below are the latest headline figures from the Office of National Statistics website on the state of our national finances (so all their words, not mine, I’ve just added a … Continue reading
One of George Osborne’s favourite mantra’s is the above one. Unfortunately it’s based on a rather school-boy understanding of economics. Of course everyone is familiar with the personal debt spiral. Adam and Eve enjoy the good life. They spend a … Continue reading
The disproportionate representation of UK private schools (confusingly called ‘public schools’) amongst Britain’s Olympians has been causing some controversy. For some on the right this highlights the superiority of private sector schooling over state provision – especially as a … Continue reading
Public policy community comes together 12 Jul 2012 The University of Manchester has established Policy@Manchester as a network bringing together a range of academics working in a variety of public policy areas.
I am in Australia as “Accenture-Crawford School Distinguished Visiting Professor” at Australian National University in Canberra. Many thanks to both Accenture and the excellent Crawford School of Public Policy. I’ve been doing a fascinating series of meetings, seminars and lectures … Continue reading
Three decades ago two American academics published a superb analysis of the way in which British government’s made finance decisions provocatively entitled “The Private Government of Public Money” (Heclo and Wildavsky, 1981). Has the Coalition accidentally given birth to … Continue reading
It is nice to see that the new lot are just the same as the old lot, at least when it comes to reporting so-called “efficiency” or “waste” savings. Today Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude was telling anyone who would … Continue reading
The government is very proud of its Work Programme. It is especially proud of the fact that the WPs private sector providers are only paid on the basis of individual outcomes – do the participants get a “long term” job.
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 … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
The Greek crisis has given neo-liberals a a great opportunity to criticize ‘big government’ Hellenic style – they see the problem as a Big Fat Greek Government (apologies to the film of nearly that name). But as usual the truth … Continue reading
My trade union, UCU, is campaigning against the establishment of “private” universities in the UK. They have a point about the way in which this is being done, which is in my view with reckless disregard for quality and … Continue reading
An excellent analysis over @ flipchartfairlytales which shows that the root of the Greek crisis is the failure of tax collection and the size of the shadow economy. My comment was:
The NHS has traditionally been organized, like most public services, on the basis of place. This has been both a control and a planning mechanism. It is a planning mechanism because it uses available information about the demographic and health … Continue reading