Better financial planning and reforms needed to avoid ‘disastrous combination of failing public services and breached spending controls’
Hospitals could join prisons and social care in a cycle of “crisis, cash, repeat” unless they receive better financial planning and reforms, a Whitehall report has warned.
Without improvements, public services are doomed to fail or breach spending controls, the report by the Institute for Government and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (Cipfa) said.
The government’s austerity programme of delivering good services while cutting spending “ran out of steam” in 2015, according to an analysis of official figures. Both organisations are urging the chancellor to ensure any measures in the budget have sound evidence behind them.
The findings come as Philip Hammond comes under pressure to use an unexpected rise in tax receipts to aid public services in his first full budget next week.
Julian McCrae, the Institute for Government’s deputy director, said that unlike others, this report was not calling for more money but instead better organisation to shore up the public sector.
“As we’ve seen with prisons, social care and now potentially hospitals, the government risks getting into a cycle of crisis, cash, repeat,” he said. “This report is a call for better financial planning and reforms that are robust enough to survive public scrutiny.”
For full article see The Guardian 28 February 2017