Michael Burton

Michael Burton

Michael Burton is editorial director of The MJ
  • If politics is local, then so is climate change

    15 October 2019

    Progress in reducing emissions from heating and transport continues to lag well behind the UK's renewable power sources success story, says Michael Burton - but this is where individual behaviour and local government can make a difference.


  • Pension invests in green fund

    11 October 2019

    A council pension scheme has become one of the first to invest in a new ‘green’ fund which supports low carbon technology.


  • B&B costs councils £93m a year, says LGA

    11 October 2019

    Councils are spending over £93m a year on bed and breakfast accommodation, a figure which is nine times the amount in 2010 according to analysis by the Local Government Association.


  • Council chiefs in dark over 5G future, survey finds

    10 October 2019

    Almost half of council chief officers are still unsure whether superfast 5G broadband will arrive in their area according to a survey by The MJ and BT.


  • PM Johnson makes devolution pledge

    09 October 2019

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised more devolved powers to councils outside the big cities to boost inward investment.


  • Prepare for the 5G revolution

    09 October 2019

    Local authorities are aware 5G is imminent and could have a dramatic effect on their frontline services according to a survey by The MJ and BT, as Michael Burton reports.


  • What might have been without the recession and Brexit

    09 October 2019

    Michael Burton says the worry as the next Spending Review gets under way is that a bad or no-deal Brexit leads to another lost decade of growth and more cuts, which this time a pruned public sector is unable to withstand.


  • Brexit casts its shadow over budgets

    08 October 2019

    This week’s Green Budget by the Institute for Fiscal Studies warns that the increases in the Spending Round still need to be funded, by tax rises or more borrowing, while a bad Brexit deal will jeopardise the public finances. Michael Burton reports.


  • Austerity could be back, warns IFS

    08 October 2019

    Austerity could make a comeback if the Government is unable to fund its spending increases through tax rises or more borrowing, according to the ‘Green Budget’ published today by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.


  • HEALTH MJ: Addressing welfare state inequalities

    07 October 2019

    Solutions to the social care funding problem are there, says Michael Burton - they just need leadership from politicians to deliver them.


  • Councils call for powers and funds to tackle housing crisis

    04 October 2019

    Councils have called for more fiscal freedom to build their own social housing following latest figures showing new home starts in England have fallen by 8% in the quarter to June compared to the previous year.


  • Social care funding is still a bridge too far

    01 October 2019

    Social care is still the issue that threatens to derail the Conservative party's forthcoming election campaign, just as it did in 2017, says Michael Burton


  • Tory spending plans could be derailed by economic downturn - IFS

    01 October 2019

    Multi-billion pound Conservative spending plans could be derailed by a further deterioration in the economy, a fiscal think-tank has warned.


  • Austerity takes a back seat – for the election

    24 September 2019

    The election battleground is now about which party can be more forceful in turning its back on austerity, says Michael Burton - but the reality of new spending pledges should also be examined carefully.


  • The Treasury needs to take a place-based view

    18 September 2019

    In its latest broadside, the Institute for Government agrees with local government's view that because it is closest to services it is better placed to manage spending more effectively, says Michael Burton.


  • Treasury wasting money in funding of local government - report

    17 September 2019

    The Treasury is wasting money in its funding of local government and needs to have a more place-based focus, according to a report from the respected Institute for Government (IfG) think-tank.


  • Be careful what you wish for on new revenue sources

    11 September 2019

    In one province in Canada, integration has clearly not provided the complete answer to what is a financial hole familiar in the UK, says Michael Burton. But we don't have cannabis sales to help plug the gap.


  • Boosting jobs for older workers could alleviate social care costs

    20 August 2019

    Social care needs more funding, but the state is missing a trick if it fails to increase employment rates among the more active retirees, says Michael Burton.


  • Social care feels the squeeze on staffing

    14 August 2019

    The increasing shortage of adult care staff has been highlighted in two reports last week, with the sector having the second highest vacancy rate among public services. Michael Burton reports


  • Uncertainty does not bode well for the settlement

    14 August 2019

    Michael Burton says 'the prosaic matter of local government finance seems to be taking a back seat'. Will new chief secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak finally be able to deliver on his February promise 'to get more certainty'?