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As we move rapidly towards the next general election, all eyes are on ideas that will emerge to deliver good growth, reform government and public services and help lift standards of living. Our blog explores the most pressing challenges being faced in the public sector today, towards 2015 and beyond.

21 July 2014

The poverty premium – framing the debate, tackling the issue

By Tina Hallett As we head towards the next general election, lifting living standards while building and sustaining growth are high on the political agenda. Since the financial crisis an extra dimension has emerged - fairness, as our work on good jobs also demonstrates. The toughest questions for today's governments...

18 July 2014

People count – reshaping the public sector workforce

By Juliet Stuttard As Whitehall continues to grapple with spending cuts and rising demand for public services, many are finding themselves in an uncertain territory of thinking in new ways, not least about how they use one of their most expensive resources – their people. Against this backdrop, conventional models...

11 July 2014

Your spending speaks louder than your cuts

By Jonathan House Digital technology can play a role in linking up multiple organisations and supporting a person-centric approach to service delivery, says PwC’s Jonathan House Over the last few years we’ve found that councils have dealt in many different ways with the financial challenges they face. As the case...

10 July 2014

‘Why wait ten years?’ Decentralisation decade at LGA conference

By Jonathan House This week we’ve decamped to the seaside for the Local Government Association's annual conference in Bournemouth. Following roundtables in Liverpool, Newcastle, Birmingham and London, we thought we’d use the opportunity to discuss the emerging findings of our programme of research with IPPR, the Decentralisation Decade. Joined by...

09 July 2014

UK economy takes off – but it could still be a bumpy ride

By John Hawksworth Our latest UK Economic Outlook report, published today, suggests that the economy is on a clear upward trend. GDP growth has accelerated from a sluggish 0.3% in 2012 to 1.7% in 2013 and we expect it to pick up to around 3% on average in 2014. It...

07 July 2014

Commissioning for outcomes: why only the brave succeed

By Janet Dawson and Dan Burke Working together on delivering a patient centred focus should be top of the agenda for commissioners and providers across the country, says PwC’s Janet Dawson and Dan Burke in our latest HSJ column The need for health and social care systems to focus on...

All change – delivering future city transport

By Grant Klein Despite an economy that appears to have turned the corner, public spending cuts continue to bite. In this economic climate, how do we provide our towns and cities with a holistic, sustainable transport service that underpins growth? We addressed this question and more at a panel discussion...

03 July 2014

The future of tax – the principles of our tax system

By Stella Amiss What would you say are the guiding principles for our tax system? Well, 22 members of the public spent two days debating this, and also considered the purpose of tax, who should pay it and how it should be levied. The quality of the discussions and their...

02 July 2014

Decentralisation Decade: Next stop Birmingham

By Richard Parker What does the future look like for local governance in the UK and, of equal importance, how do we get there? This was the key question discussed at our most recent roundtable event with IPPR North in Birmingham; the third in our Decentralisation Decade series. We were...

01 July 2014

Communities count: making more of social value

By Mark Graham The Chartered Institute of Housing, Orbit Group, PwC and Wates Living Space have just published the findings of their jointly commissioned research into the impact of the Social Value Act on commissioning, procurement and contract management in the Housing Sector - Communities count: The four steps to...

24 June 2014

Decentralisation Decade: the view from the North East

By Bill MacLeod To what extent is the high degree of centralisation in England holding back regional growth? This was the topic for discussion at our recent roundtable event hosted in Newcastle with IPPR North, and we certainly got a lively debate! The roundtable discussion forms part of a wider...

17 June 2014

Talking decentralisation at the International Festival of Business, Liverpool: ‘free us to grow’

By Jonathan House What would a new deal for English local governance look like? This is the question we posed at a meeting we hosted with IPPR North at the International Festival of Business in Liverpool. It is particularly timely to reflect on this issue with less than 100 days...

Public service reform: back to the future

By Nick C Jones, Charles Tarvin and Tara Macpherson With less than a year to the general election, and with all parties knowing that they cannot row back from further cuts, where next for public service reform? Public bodies will be under pressure not only in this Parliament but from...

12 June 2014

Switching on to outcomes

By Jonathan House Another year, and it appears, another blow to the confidence of local government leaders and chief executives in PwC’s fourth annual Local State We’re In survey. While there’s many findings in the survey that will stand out depending on your point of view, perhaps one of the...

10 June 2014

The future of tax - our Citizens' Jury debate the key issues

By Mary Monfries What a privilege to listen to the views of 24 members of the public on the future of the tax system. Momentum is building at our two day Citizens' Jury which will present their views to members of Government later. The jury is looking at the fundamentals:...

Immigration and the election: a business perspective

By Julia Onslow-Cole As the dust settles and the results of the recent European election are being digested, attention has once again become focused on how the main political parties should react to the public’s concerns in relation to immigration. The Coalition is currently holding its nerve. The Conservatives have...

05 June 2014

Cities 2030: why a jog towards empowering cities needs to become a sprint

By Stephanie Hyde The rise of cities right across the globe is an incredible and unstoppable force. In 1800, only 2% of the world’s population lived in cities – now it is 50%. By 2050, seven in ten of us on this planet will live in cities. The 300 largest...

04 June 2014

An election-winning Queen’s speech?

By Nick C Jones With the election only just over 11 months away, this year’s Queen’s Speech was particularly important to set the tone for the remaining business days in Parliament and for 2015 and beyond. And with a tag line of being “unashamedly pro-work, pro-business and pro-aspiration”, the expectations...

29 May 2014

The next move for the EU

By Ray Taylor The votes in the European election have been counted and the post mortem on the results continues in the press, but what will these really mean once the dust settles down? Without a doubt the rise of the eurosceptic parties in the UK and France will influence...

28 May 2014

Eurovision: perspectives on post-austerity government beyond our borders

By Paul Cleal What lessons can we draw from how governments internationally have been dealing with austerity? This was on the agenda at our event with the Institute for Government on 19 May. The title of the session, ‘Post-austerity government: international perspectives’, struck an optimistic note – it can certainly...

27 May 2014

Pensions - a growing headache for charities

By Ian Oakley-Smith and Mark Jennings Just as many charities are concentrating their efforts on cutting costs against a backdrop of reducing income and donations, pension costs are still moving in the wrong direction, and it could be about to get a lot worse! Many charities participate in the Local...

23 May 2014

The NHS should make the most of responsible citizens

By Janet Dawson and Dr Tim Wilson The NHS needs to be much more adaptable and give more weight to self-care, write Janet Dawson and Tim Wilson The NHS wastes about 8,666 hours per person every year. Of those hours a person with a long term condition probably spends 100...

22 May 2014

Allowing charities to be fit for the future

By James Bowman In my recent blog ‘A time for more change’, I reflected on how the downturn has placed growing pressures on charities due to challenges including an increased demand for services and reduced public sector funding. There are solutions to these challenges, although a long term, strategic approach...

21 May 2014

European elections: why they matter

By Ray Taylor While there has been a lot of news around the UK political parties standing in the European elections, what should not be missed is that the five year European election cycle is the world's greatest example of democracy in practice by coordinating national voting in 28 countries....

20 May 2014

London, the city of opportunity

By Justin Martin and Nick C Jones On the circuit of world cities, London is now coming out on top. That’s the key message from the sixth edition of our publication Cities of Opportunity. Cities of Opportunity 6 examines the current social and economic performance of 30 of the world’s...