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July 11, 2013

CIPFA calls for a shift ‘beyond austerity’

By Sophie Exton

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) president Jaki Salisbury has called on its members and the government to work together with tax payers to bring about reforms that can rebuild the UK economy.

At the institute’s annual conference being held in London, Sailsbury said the theme chosen this year, ‘Beyond austerity: designing the future state’, poses a great challenge for CIPFA, namely the reform of the UK public services.

In her speech Salisbury acknowledged that in the current economic situation organisations are pushed to focus on short term challenges and that there is little residual capacity to plan for the future.

Referencing the ongoing riots in Istanbul and São Paulo, Salisbury stated that it is critical for politicians and public services to keep the public well informed and listen to their views regarding how funding should be allocated and where cuts are made. "If maintaining a serious dialogue with multiple stakeholders throughout the country poses challenges for Whitehall and Westminster, perhaps that is the cue for a dash of localism to be part of the solution." Salisbury added.

Salisbury said the local government has taken on considerable additional risk and responsibility with the localisation of business rates and council tax benefits.

As her final point, Salisbury reminded CIPFA members that they are "uniquely well placed to help explore this terrain, equipped as we are not only with financial and accounting expertise but also with a strategic perspective that encompasses a genuine understanding of the impact of policy on front line public services."

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Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy

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