Michael Burton is editorial director of The MJ
We need to give the full picture about high earners
Some facts were missing from this week's TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) 'Town Hall Rich List', says Michael Burton.
Investors upbeat over UK’s cities and regions
Michael Burton tests the mood of international investors’ attitudes to the UK’s cities and regions at this year’s giant MIPIM event.
Council housebuilding figures highest in 17 years
Local authorities built 3,540 homes in the UK in 2017/18, the highest in 17 years. according to latest figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, but a total of 12,059 council homes were sold.
The UK needs a great debate like President Macron’s
President Macron's 'great debate' after riots by the 'gilet jaunes' finishes at the end of next month. Ministers should initiate their own version to gauge the public's views and feed them into Post-Brexit domestic policy, says Michael Burton.
Scotland and Wales 'ignored by Westminster'
Scottish and Welsh ministers say they are still ignored by Westminster despite 20 years of devolution, according to a report from the Institute for Government.
Whitehall and the NHS keep driving up public sector jobs
Michael Burton says the latest employment figures from the Office for National Statistics show a record number employed in central Government and a record low in local government staff - down 44,000 over 2017.
Government must redesign immigration policy to fill care vacancies - think-tanks
The Government should ‘go back to the drawing board’ to redesign a visa system that encourages overseas workers to fill the 110,000 social care vacancies, a report today has urged.
Remove immigration policy from the Home Office
Immigration policy is a mess, says Michael Burton - and has led to pay minimums which ignore big labour shortages in lower-paid public services. The Home Office is no longer the right ministry to manage such a cross-sector role, he concludes.
AI is all very well but we still have a digital divide
Ambitious talk of using AI to keep the elderly safe in their own homes is all very well, says Michael Burton. But a new report from the Office for National Statistics shows a sizable proportion of the public are still digitally excluded.
Why I am a Brexiteer
Brexit minister Kwasi Kwarteng was recently guest speaker at a Localis dinner, where he was quizzed by a local government audience. Here, he responds to further questions from Michael Burton.
How does public spending break down?
The latest annual statement from HMRC reveals how little leeway the chancellor has when it comes to planning the next Spending Review, says Mike Burton.
We need to rethink our attitudes to older ‘perennials’
The state and society should stop assuming everyone over the age of 55 is elderly, and target scarce resources in health and care on helping those who really are getting on a bit, the over-80s, says Michael Burton.
Hammond must not take the sector for granted
Chancellor Philip Hammond must ensure local government does not face a crisis similar to those in the prison service and justice system, says Michael Burton
Think-tanks float extra council tax flexibility
Local government faces another period of tough budget settlements but could be granted more freedom to raise local revenues, according to a report on options for this year’s Spending Review by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and the Institute for Government.
Austerity cuts get the blame for Brexit
Domestic political decisions were to blame for Brexit and will do little to help those deprived Leave areas that helped make it happen, says Michael Burton.
Council cuts threaten NHS plan
Cuts in council social care and public health budgets threaten the viability of the ambitious NHS Long Term Plan, care chiefs have warned.
Keeping up standards
As councils become increasingly commercial, auditors are asking how high standards of governance and accountability can be maintained in a more risky financial climate. Michael Burton reports on a National Audit Office/The MJ round table debate
FoI should be extended to providers
The Information Commissioner believes contractors providing services to the public sector should be subject to the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act. Michael Burton also comes down on the side of us being able to monitor how they spend our money.
Lack of preparation suggests no-deal is a negotiating tool
The Government has hardly bothered to involve local authorities in any serious planning for exiting the EU without an agreement. This suggests two mindsets, according to Mike Burton.
MHCLG churn 'damaging institutional memory'
Whitehall is suffering from ‘collective amnesia’ due to high staff turnover that is wasting millions of pounds, according to a study today from the respected think-tank the Institute for Government (IfG).