Michael Burton is editorial director of The MJ
Right back where we started
Economists predict the deficit in the public finances could soar to the levels seen a decade ago after the financial crash. Michael Burton reports.
No chance of a return to Groundhog Day
One clear lesson from the virus is how much we need properly-funded public services, writes Michael Burton - and 'with a tidal wave of support for the public sector this is not the time for the Government to be revisiting Groundhog Day 2010'.
Where are your services on the Smart City journey?
With technology moving into the next era of 5G and AI, The MJ and BT recently conducted a survey into the extent that local authorities are using shared services to develop their Smart Cities and Places. Michael Burton reports.
Corbynism triumphs just as he leaves the political stage
The country has 'gone Corbynite', says Michael Burton, and the public has rediscovered its love of public sector workers. Not just the usual nurses and doctors but refuse workers, care staff, social workers, cleaners, and public health employees.
Buoyant tax income ahead of coronavirus crisis
The last set of public finance figures before the Government’s £350bn injection to combat coronavirus’ economic impact shows a buoyant month for tax income.
Council tax reform must be part of the business rates review
Like it or not, once the review of business rates is under way, it is hard not to see council tax reform following in its wake, says Michael Burton.
Winners and losers under a reformed council tax
A new study from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) says revaluation of the £31bn council tax system is long overdue and proposes ways it can be reformed, as Michael Burton reports.
Future Forum postponed
The MJ has postponed next week’s 24-hour Future Forum event until September 24/25 due to the coronavirus crisis.
Reforming council tax will help government level up
Reforming council tax will help the Government deliver its levelling up agenda for the Midlands and the North, according to a new study from the Institute for Fiscal Studies think-tank.
Budget 2020: Councils compensated for rates bonanza
The Government has pledged to compensate local authorities for the entire loss of business rates caused by a raft of relief announcements in today’s Budget.
Budget 2020: Sunak gambles on capital spending splurge
Despite volatility caused by coronavirus and a sluggish increase in the economy, the chancellor has decided to gamble that a big increase in capital spending will deliver higher growth and productivity by the next election.
Is your ‘dark data’ helping frontline services?
Michael Burton reports on the key findings of a PA Consulting/The MJ survey of senior managers aimed at finding out if councils are getting the most from their data.
Care crisis’ answers are already out there
There have been enough reports on the future funding of social care to fill a Whitehall filing cabinet, most of which have ended up in the one marked ‘too difficult', says Michael Burton.
IfG: Extend outsourcing reforms to councils
Government reforms of outsourcing to avoid another Carillion collapse must be extended to local government where commercial skills lag behind Whitehall, a report from the Institute for Government (IfG) think-tank has said.
McManus to speak on coronavirus planning
The vice president of the Association of Directors of Public Health, Jim McManus, is to address chief executive delegates about planning for coronavirus at The MJ Future Forum later this month.
Ministers need to define what they mean by ‘levelling up’
What precisely do ministers mean when they use the phrase 'levelling' up, asks Michael Burton. 'Wealthy areas also contain poor neighbourhoods and vice versa.'
Hillier calls for freedom of information extension
House of Commons Public Accounts Committee chair Meg Hillier has called for the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act to be applied to contractors running public services.
Who will win the battle of the Budget?
The new chancellor has eye-wateringly little headroom in the Budget, says Michael Burton - so will he opt for more spending to 'level up' the regions or keep the books balanced? There are 50 parliamentary seats at stake, he warns.
Extra council tax bands call
Former Treasury chief secretary David Gauke has called on chancellor Rishi Sunak to add additional council tax bands in next month's Budget.
Pre-Budget boost for Sunak
New chancellor Rishi Sunak has received a pre-Budget boost on the public finances, with latest figures showing a record January for tax receipts.