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As the dust settles following the general election, we enter a new parliamentary term. The government and public sector is still under pressure and will be for the next few years. Our blog explores what the top priorities are to deliver manifesto commitments while bringing the public finances into balance.

02 February 2016

Why housing needs to be at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse

By Jane Forbes Today I attended the Parliamentary Launch of ‘Homes for the North’ (H4N), a collaboration of 20 large housing associations from across the North of England committed to putting housing at the heart of the Northern economy and delivering increased numbers of quality homes across the region, maximising...

11 January 2016

Power shift: Placing public service users at the heart of the devolution agenda

By Tina Hallett The devolution revolution looks set to be one of the defining political narratives for 2016. Devolution gathered momentum over the course of 2015, from the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill in the Queen’s Speech through to the Spending Review and the latest round of devo deals....

07 January 2016

Is the federated model for national charities now under threat?

By Ian Oakley-Smith and James Bowman Many household name national charities are in fact made up of an “umbrella” charity, with a multitude of local, separately registered, charities as members. There are several variations on a theme to this so-called federated model, but it is often the case that the...

06 January 2016

A tale of thirteen cities

By Esmond Birnie Almost 160 years after Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities drew social parallels between London and revolutionary Paris, drawing economic parallels between London and the leading cities of the United Kingdom has become a contemporary tale of thirteen cities. Until recently, considerations of economic growth and performance...

17 December 2015

Building trust through charities’ reporting

By Ian Oakley-Smith, Kevin Lowe, Daniel YC Chan In 2014, as part of the annual PwC Building Public Trust Awards, a new award was introduced: the ‘Excellence in reporting’ award in charities. Charities have historically enjoyed a high degree of public trust in the UK. However, over the past couple...

01 December 2015

Spending Review 2015 – what it means for our universities

By Ian Looker For many in our universities the reaction to the Spending Review last Wednesday, will be one of relief. Cuts in BIS funding of between 25% and 40% were being widely discussed, so an overall reduction of 17% in the departments funding is better than feared. However, there...

27 November 2015

Spending review provides breathing space for the NHS

By Alan Milburn George Osborne came up trumps this week for the NHS. The demands on him to make spending commitments in his Autumn Statement outweighed the resources he had at his disposal. Under pressure on all sides – not least to please the House of Lords on tax credits,...

The continued rise of Multi Academy Trusts

By Chris J Kirk The Spending Review has confirmed what has long been trailed – that school budgets will be protected in real terms, showing the importance that the public and politicians attach to education. In addition, it is now possible for Sixth Form Colleges to become Academies, and join...

26 November 2015

Spending Review 2015: The devil is in the delivery

By Nick C Jones The scene is set for the rest of the Parliament, with the Spending Review confirming the drive towards a smarter, and proportionately smaller, state (36.5% of GDP by the end of the Parliament down from 45%) with a budget surplus. The Chancellor confirmed that there is...

Will the social care precept be enough for the care sector?

By Andrew McKechnie The Chancellor announced yesterday that local authorities will be allowed to raise council tax by up to 2%, as long as additional funds raised are used to fund adult social care. With the social care sector facing unprecedented financial pressures, are his plans enough to stabilise the...

25 November 2015

Where now for the "devolution revolution"? Local government's Spending Review

By Jonathan House Despite the billing of a "devolution revolution", George Osborne's Spending Review struggled to live up to its claim. There were no new devolution deals announced and no dramatic devolution of large departmental lines. However, the direction of travel remains clear and the shift in local government funding...

The Spending Review's deal for health

By Quentin Cole The goal of a modern, integrated health and social care system that delivers for people throughout their lives was the Chancellor’s top priority as he set out his Spending Review and Autumn Statement today. He largely met his challenge of providing both short term stability for the...

24 November 2015

Towards the Spending Review and a smarter state: the mood of the nation

By Tina Hallett The Spending Review is fast approaching. With its slim majority and some early challenges on issues such as tax credits, the government will nevertheless be aiming to keep the public engaged on dealing with the deficit, boosting productivity and rebalancing the economy. With this in mind, PwC...

18 November 2015

The devolution revolution rolls on: from deals to delivery

By Stephanie Hyde, Head of Regions This week saw two landmark devolution deals, cementing the government’s commitment to empowering local areas to drive their own agendas. The deals announced as part of the Spending Review process are setting out the trajectory up to 2020 and mark a significant shift in...

05 November 2015

Good growth across UK cities – powering ahead?

By John Hawksworth, Nick C Jones & Jonathan Bruce Strong momentum has been established behind decentralisation to the UK’s cities and regions over the past five years, including 38 recent bids for devolution deals submitted to government for consideration in the Spending Review 2015. Indeed, the role that cities play...

30 October 2015

Engaging the public in the ‘devolution revolution’

By Tina Hallett Decentralisation may be firmly in the sights of politicians nationally and locally, but is the public aware of the plans for decentralisation and do people understand its implications? Our new polling, with Ipsos Mori North and New Local Government Network, shows that while the public is supportive...

23 October 2015

Mind the (financial advice) gap

By Tina Hallett Last week saw the government kick off engagement on their Financial Advice Market Review, a three month consultation exploring how consumers’ access to financial advice can be “radically improved”. Free guidance is already available for pensioners considering investing in alternatives to annuities – and this is a...

20 October 2015

The 2018 digital university - staying relevant in the digital age

By Cat McCusker and Dan Babington The very nature of Higher Education, how it is delivered and the role of universities in society and the economy is changing, and will continue to change significantly in the next decade. Universities are competing globally for students, academics and funding, and only those...

09 October 2015

Weathering the storm: time for brave Trusts to do brave things

By Sarah Horsfield and Dan Caines During the past five years, commentators and politicians have forecast an 'oncoming storm' that would see the finances of NHS providers deteriorate. Given the NHS provider sector reported an in-year deficit of £822 million in 2014/15, with foundation trusts ending the year in the...

08 October 2015

Should charities collaborate more?

By Tina Hallett Although the economy has begun to recover from the recession, austerity measures are still in place and will only increase in the short term. Charities have taken on the burden of much of the fallout from these measures – our 2015 annual survey of charities, ‘Managing in...