Michael Burton is editorial director of The MJ
Two Scots councils set for level four
Two Scottish local authority areas are in line for a new severe level four lockdown according to a letter from the Scottish government to the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.
Blue wall rebels call for economic kickstart
Northern Tory MPs led by the former Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry have urged their government to kickstart its promised ‘levelling up’ agenda with a Northern Economic Recovery Plan.
Think tank calls for rates reform
Council tax and business rates should be reformed as part of a major overhaul of the UK’s tax system says a new study from the free market think-tank the Centre for Policy Studies.
Coronavirus leads to scrapping of three-year Spending Review
Plans to create a three-year settlement for public spending have been abandoned as latest figures show the havoc coronavirus is wreaking on the public finances.
IFS urges delay to cuts and tax rises
Spending cuts and tax rises to rebalance the public finances should be delayed until 2022 to allow the economy to recover, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has said.
Digitising the front door to care
A new 'white paper' report by consultancy Agilisys outlines how technology can help lead the rethink of the care sector. Author Steve Morgan talks to Michael Burton of The MJ about some of the solutions.
Javid calls for 'fresh look at local government'
Former communities secretary Sajid Javid has called for a ‘fresh look at local government’.
Aberdeen named council of the year at MJ Awards
Aberdeen City Council has been named Local Authority of the Year in The MJ’s first virtual local government awards.
Hours left before MJ virtual awards
The MJ’s first virtual awards takes place tomorrow – and there is still time to register to view.
Facing down the pandemic
A line-up of 13 top speakers delivered The MJ’s first virtual Future Forum on lessons learned from the pandemic and the challenges and opportunities facing the sector. Michael Burton and Heather Jameson report on the conclusions.
Public sector debt hits 50-year high
Total public sector debt has breached the £100bn mark for the first time since 1961, according to latest finance figures from the Office for National Statistics.
Mind the gap in Scotland
The latest figures show Scotland’s deficit between income and spending compared to the deficit for the whole of the UK has widened. Michael Burton delves into the statistics.
Retail chiefs call for more rate relief as Sunak considers tax hikes
Retail chiefs have urged Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend business rate relief just as he plans tax rises to reduce the £2 trillion hole in the public finances.
Scots deficit widens in blow to nationalists
In a blow to Scottish separatists Scotland’s notional deficit widened to 8.6% of gross domestic product (GDP) last year according to latest official figures.
UK council finances 'hardest hit in Europe, claims Moody's
UK local authorities are set to be hardest hit financially by the coronavirus among the five largest European economies says a report from Moody’s Investors Services.
Housing targets hit Tory shires most, ministers are warned
Ministers have been warned that proposed changes to the housing targets formula outlined earlier this month could mean more developments in rural Conservative-held council areas than in Labour-held inner cities.
Lockdown havoc on finance figures
Public debt has bust the £2 trillion mark for the first time, up by £227.6bn over the same time last year as the lockdown wreaks havoc on the public finance figures.
Public health must not be downplayed by PHE’s abolition
To start tearing down structures like PHE while the pandemic still rages and when the wider preventative issues of public health have been recognised as integral to slowing down the spread of the virus seems reckless, says Michael Burton.
IFS finds £2bn budget black hole
Councils face a budget black hole of £2bn this year due to unfunded coronavirus costs, a new study has found.
A demolition job on the planning system
The Prime Minister regards the new planning White Paper as ‘levelling the foundations’ of the present system but critics say it emasculates the role of local authorities. Michael Burton takes a look at what the paper proposes.