Looking beyond the lockdown

By Michael Burton | 15 April 2020
  • Michael Burton

It may seem premature, if not distasteful, in the middle of a lockdown with no end in sight and coronavirus deaths yet to peak, to start planning the next financial year, but at some point there will indeed be a return to a semblance of normality – and budgets.

The bad news is that 2020/21 saw a 4.4% increase in funding from the Government with no guarantees it will be repeated, even without the virus shredding public spending. The NHS is likely to get any leftovers after the costs of the lockdown have been evaluated.

There is also concern, expressed by the Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), that trying to complete last year’s local authority accounts in the current climate will get caught up in planning for next year’s budgets. CIPFA’s attempt to streamline the accounting process was abandoned after the regulators refused to play ball.

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