Everybody has their say on Budget 2016
Contributions from; Government(s) & Departments, LGA, CAB, Assorted Think Tanks, CBI, TUC, FDA, etc.
Researched Links:

HM Treasury:  Budget 2016 - George Osborne's speech

HMT:  Budget 2016 - some of the things we've announced

Scottish Secretary:  Budget – key points for Scotland

ScotGov:  UK indecision biggest risk to O&G jobs

ScotGov:  £1bn UKG Budget hit for Scotland

Wales Office:  Chancellor sets out a Budget that delivers for Wales' next generation

HMT:  Chancellor’s Budget delivers for Northern Ireland

DH/PHE:  Levy on high sugar drinks: PHE statement

BIS:  Full steam ahead for Midlands Engine, as Business Secretary confirms Budget support to drive growth for the region

Defra:  £700m boost for flood defences brings £150m more for Yorkshire & Cumbria

LGA:  Councils respond to extra £700m funding for flood defences in Budget 2016

LGA:  Extra powers over local services needed, councils tell Chancellor ahead of budget

LGA responds to academy school reports about plans to convert all schools to academy status

LGA:  Budget 2016: Councils respond to homelessness measures

LGA responds to Budget 2016

LGA responds to sugar levy on soft drinks

LGA responds to removal of war pension 'penalty' for veterans

techUK:  Budgeting for a Better Financial Services

Citizens Advice response to Budget 2016

techUK:  Budgeting for Broadband

techUK:  2016 Budget announcements on data science, autonomous vehicles & 5G

IFS:   Budget 2016

IPPR:  Budget 2016 - Further social security cuts for disabled & low income families fund regressive tax cuts

IPPR:  Budget 2016 - Giving schools more independence won’t fix the urgent need to raise standards

IPPR Budget 2016: Public sector pensions savings will make it harder for schools & hospitals to balance their books

IPPR Budget 2016: ‘Help to save’ scheme: new scheme needs to be accessible to the poorest to be effective

IPPR:  Further cuts to government spending to make the sums add up are damaging Britain’s economy

IPPR North Budget reaction: Northern Powerhouse, business rates, devolution, schools

IPPR Scotland:  Oil & gas – help today welcomed, help tomorrow needed

The Adam Smith Institute’s reaction to the 2016 Budget

NIESR Comment on 2016 Budget

IEA’s response to Budget 2016

JRF:  Chancellor's Budget giveaways failed to support an all-out assault on poverty

NLGN:  Simon Parker response to the budget

Demos Responds to the 2016 Budget

The King's Fund responds to the 2016 Budget

TUC: Downgrades of growth & wages shows this is no budget for the next generation

CBI: Budget 2016

CIPD:  Budget 2016: Chancellor’s ‘forgotten workforce’ fuels Britain’s productivity problem

FDA:  Smoke & mirrors Budget is a political con trick that doesn’t match commitment to resources

Homeless Link:  New homelessness measures could have a huge impact

WWF Response to The Budget


Latest Research Paper:

Your Quick Guide to Seizing  
the Information Advantage

Success in records and information management takes planning, organisation and a strategy for taking control of physical and digital records from creation, through active use, to secure short, long-term or permanent storage and planned disposition. Done well, records and information management helps your organisation limit information risk, manage costs and lay the foundation for successful data analytics.

Most organisations have two priorities; the first is managing risk to satisfy regulators and protect against loss or breach, and the second is value extraction. The goal is to find the balance where threats are minimised, legal requirements are observed and information delivers insights that help meet customer and stakeholder expectation.

This balance point is your information advantage. Latest research from PwC and Iron Mountain indicates that very few organisations are able to achieve the information advantage.

Click here to find out how your organisation can join the 4% that currently belong to the information elite

Instead of imposing the controversial, noisy & dubiously beneficial HS2 on the Shires, why not start with the ‘urgently needed’ HS3 & other road / rail improvements in the North

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has published its 3rd report: High Speed North’.  In October 2015, the NIC was asked to advise on strategic improvements to transport connectivity in the North.  Their central finding is that the North needs immediate and very significant investment for action now and a plan for longer term transformation to reduce journey times, increase capacity and improve reliability.

On rail, this means kick-starting HS3, integrating it with HS2 and planning for the redevelopment of the North’s gateway stations.  On roads, investment should be brought forwards for an early boost in capacity on the M62, the North’s most important east-west link, alongside funding to identify & assess proposals for tackling a range of other strategic challenges.  High Speed North makes practical recommendations to this end.

Researched Links:

National Infrastructure Commission:  Put HS3 at the heart of a High Speed North - Adonis

IEA:  HS3 is a political gimmick and will do little to reduce travel times

The potential benefits of HS2 are ‘dodgy’ and now it appears the human cost is rising unnecessarily as well

Poor Government case for a £50bn investment in HS2

HS2 is bad value, and that's a fact - Telegraph

Sugaring the ‘bitter pill’ of HS2

High Speed Rail Committee publishes final report

Government & industry unite to drive UK rail growth

HS2 route from Birmingham to Crewe to open 6 years early - Chancellor confirms

Lessons from major rail infrastructure programmes

HS2: 12 arguments for and against - BBC News

STOP HS2 | Cost-benefit Analysis

HS2 Cost Benefit Analysis | Economics | tutor2u

Pros & Cons of High Speed Rail HS2 | Economics Help

FactCheck: is HS2 value for money? - Blogs - Channel 4

TfL:  Full steam ahead for Crossrail 2

Overcoming the barrier of silence
A new expert advisory group has been appointed to support the implementation of legislation which will improve the way public services meet the needs of deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users.  This follows the introduction of the historic BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 last September, which recognised BSL as a language of Scotland, and will result in the first BSL Action Plan.  8 deaf BSL users were recruited, as well as a hearing parent of a deaf child, to work alongside public bodies – such as Creative Scotland, COSLA and the NHS – to support the implementation of the Act.
Researched Links:

ScotGov:  British Sign Language (Scotland) Act gains momentum

Scottish Council on Deafness – BSL (Scotland) Act 2015

A ‘handy’ way to communicate with DWP

Not only the NHS that needs to ‘get its message out’

Provision of a service does not mean people know about it

Sign language interpreting service expands

25,000 for Deafblind Scotland

Talking Hands helps Abigail express herself

National roll-out for sign language interpreting service

Tayside to meet the communication needs of Deaf Patients

Language isn't what it used to be (BSL - that is)

Video in BSL launched

BSL video for Parliamentary & Health Ombudsman

BSL - Online resources, games, & course

Learn Online Free | School of Sign Language

The future will be based on data
There is plenty of value in individual registers as authoritative sources of trustworthy core reference data - the first beta register, the country register, is being used by services such as the e-petition service already. Over time the country register will also replace many of the country lists published on GOV.UK.  So individual registers are good, but an ecosystem of linked registers is even better. That’s why every register needs to be designed with the wider ecosystem in mind.
Researched Links:

GDS:  Getting from data to registers

Geographic data leads the way to better healthcare – 2,500 organisations signed up to PSMA

Don’t backtrack on digital agenda, urges think tank

NHS England launches accessible information standard

techUK:  Enhanced Data Crucial in Maintaining the UK Payment System as World Leading

SME Supplier Locator update...

UK Government and public sector spend with SME’s is continually on the increase and by 2020, it is the stated intent of Cabinet Office that £1 of every £3 spent on government contracts goes to SME’s. The past 5 years have seen government make a priority of getting money through its supply chain into the hands of SMEs, by both setting targets and introducing new procurement mechanisms.

Against this backdrop, the WiredGov Supplier Locator service has been developed specifically to embrace the SME Agenda and provide the ideal platform for SME’s to promote their services, solutions, accreditation and success stories directly to our ever increasing audience across all government and public sector verticals and Tier 1 suppliers.

Click here to find out more and view this week’s new arrivals to the SME Supplier Locator service. 

Daylight robbery?
Confusing working hours, poor administration and legal loopholes mean that workers are being underpaid and in extreme cases not paid at all, says Citizens Advice.  The number of issues dealt with by Citizens Advice about unauthorised deductions - non-payment of wages owed - has nearly doubled in a single year from 4,900 in 2014 to 9,000 in 2015.
Researched Links:

CAB:  Casual workers at risk of ‘wage theft’ from unscrupulous employers

HMRC secures record £4.6m minimum wage arrears for underpaid workers

New research finds evidence of forced labour in the UK food industry

Acas:  Pay deductions - advice & guidance

Deductions from your pay - Gov.uk

TUC:  Deductions from pay

CIPD:  Pay & benefits - Unauthorised deductions

Can an employer dock my pay? The Guardian

Is your ‘Project’ worthy of a prize?
An award to recognise the Best Internet of Things Project of the Year has been added to the 2016 UK IT Industry Awards, run by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, & Computing which launched recently. The new addition reflects the ever changing nature of the profession.  The annual Awards are renowned as the Oscars for the IT profession, providing a platform to showcase & celebrate best practice, innovation and excellence. Entrants can be organisations or individuals involved in IT across the public, not for profit & commercial sectors.  Deadline for entry 8 July 2016.

BCS:  Is your IT innovation worthy of an award?

Public health legislation which would have ‘helped protect people from harm and create the conditions to help people live healthier lives’ has been voted down by Assembly Members.

WAG:  Statement by the Minister for Health and Social Services: Public Health (Wales) Bill

It’s not just about TV fund-raising events
A unique programme to develop the skills & knowledge of charity leaders has been jointly launched by The King’s Fund and GSK, in partnership with Comic Relief, at a parliamentary reception.

The King’s Fund and GSK, partnering with Comic Relief, launch new programme to improve charity leadership

Don’t keep it ‘bottled up’
Veterans are being urged to say what they think about the provision of mental health services for them by taking part in an NHS England survey that closes on 31 March 2016.  Feedback from this survey will help to shape service provision for the next 5 years.

VAPC:  Veterans urged to tell NHS England what you think about mental health services

Editorial Commentary:
Time for balanced facts, not just more fatuous statements

3 more L – O – N – G months of ‘Fear’ to go – Will we stay sane enough to come to a balanced decision?  What we need is Office of EU Referendum Facts (ODF) that could publish a SWOT analysisStrengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats - on all the aspects on both staying in the EU and leaving it.  What we don’t need is the equivalent of the ScotGov White Paper; Scotland’s Future (and yes, I did read it).

The ‘Fear of the Unknown’ is a phrase much being bandied about.  We don’t know what our relationship would be like if we decide to leave the EU, but then neither do we know when the next Euro crisis will implode or how many refugees will find their way into the EU this summer (or if ‘peace’ will come to Syria and they mostly return home. 


*There are too many ‘We would have to …’ not backed up by Why’s

*There are too many ‘We wouldn’t have to …’ not supported by Why’s

Taking one step back, we should remember that we ‘pay in’ more than we get out of the EU, so all the talk of our farmers going bankrupt from the withdrawal of CAP payments is nonsense.  It is our own money that funds them now so, in the short term, surely we could just go on paying the equivalent subsidies until we design a different system.  This also applies to all other EU ‘Grants / Investments’ in the UK.

We might have to pay tariffs, BUT a double digit tariff on Whiskey would no doubt see reciprocal measures put in place by the UK against German, French, Italian, etc. wines & spirits.  Welsh Lamb & British Beef tariffed? Danish bacon, French cheeses, plus Italian, German, Polish, etc. cured meats would get the same treatment.  Let’s face it that’s why trade agreements HAD to be developed in the past, so let’s stop pretending they wouldn’t be in the event of our leaving the EU.

In addition, NATO will not collapse if we leave the EU; It was formed in April 1949 and we didn’t join the EEC/EU until 1973, so one membership is not dependent of the other.  Added to which it is more than likely that the UK & France will continue their defence alliance (Defence Secretary secures progress on Brimstone sales as unmanned aircraft project moves forward).

What many of us would like to know are things such as:

*What impact would leaving have on our GDP?

*What would be the impact on the UK’s fishing industry – Would we get the 200 mile exclusion zone back?

*Would it cost or save money to do away with the EHIC card and just make it a legal requirement to have medical insurance to travel (included in the cost of the transport ticket perhaps)?

*Is it right that all expats could continue to live in the UK and the EU?

*Why would we still have to contribute to the EU, when many other countries (large & small) don’t?  If they want to export more to us than we do to them, they could pay us for access to our market!

*Would leaving the EU mean we would be free to ‘save’ our steel industry?

*If we left the EU, could we insist on UK-based suppliers for UK infrastructure projects?

*What would be the nett negative impact on not being able to bid for work advertised in the EU Journal? – (How many voters even know what that implies?)

Hopefully both sides will soon stop ‘ranting’ and start putting forward reasoned arguments backed up by detailed facts.  It is not a case that ‘Ignorance is Bliss’.  The future of the UK depends on voters considering a whole range of issues and deciding (on balance) what would be best for the UK.

Fishing & the EU - Hansard Online ~ The Telegraph:  Did the OBR really warn against Brexit? ~ Why the Government cannot just simply ‘Do Something’ about UK Steel Plants ~ Open Europe:  What if...? The consequences, challenges & opportunities facing Britain outside the EU

However, currently the only certainty is that the whole process will be dominated by the migration crisis as, by late June, the ‘invasion’ (which is what Eastern EU countries regard it as) will be in full flow with the better weather.  Even if the arrangement with Turkey is still actually working (it may even not be legal), one hears there are over 500,000 (probably mostly economic migrants) waiting to be ‘shipped over’ the Mediterranean to southern Italy by ISIL (with their terrorists mixed in no doubt). This will mean that voters are unlikely to take a ’calm & collected’ view of the pros & cons of Brexit, and just ask such questions as:

*After how many years will migrants, ‘settled’ in other EU countries, be free to move to the UK?

*What plans does the EU have for imposing the distribution of migrants?

EU News:  MEPs propose a centralised EU system for asylum claims with national quotas ~ MEPs want EU embassies & consulates to grant asylum seekers humanitarian visas ~ 6 Principles for further developing EU-Turkey Cooperation in tackling the Migration Crisis ~ Refugee crisis: the EC sets up emergency support ~ Syria Crisis: EC announces €445m in humanitarian aid ~ Relocation & Resettlement: EU Member States urgently need to deliver ~ EESC report reveals true extent of migrant crisis ~ So ‘Tens of Thousands’ is the right policy!

So, by June, it is quite possible the EU will be facing an even bigger migrant problem than in 2015 and that the mood will be; ‘Stop the migration into the UK at any cost’ as Fear of the Unknown, becomes Fear of the Known!


 More contributions to the EU Referendum

More news, opinions, documents, claims & counter-claims;

Researched Links:

IEA:  Mark Littlewood on the EU referendum

EESC encourages EC to go further in deepening EMU without delay

Civitas:  Rein in judicial supremacy with a new oath of allegiance to uphold Parliament


 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

More news, opinions, documents, claims & counter-claims;

Researched Links:

ScotGov:  Scotland Bill


Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the

Newsletter Archive

Please choose from the links below to view individual sections of interest:

“North, south, east and west – the devolution revolution is taking hold,” said George Osborne, announcing a slew of new infrastructure projects and devolution deals for every corner of the UK.
But behind all the hype, Osborne’s eighth budget was really quite a gloomy one for the local government sector. Councils are to be stripped of their control in education, as all schools become academies by 2020; and just months after the chancellor announced they'd soon keep revenues from business rates, he slashed those business rates, leaving behind another shortfall in funding. And the further £350bn savings from the 2019-20 budget don't look good for local government either.

More on the budget
Civil service and the 2016 budget: more with less, with a vengeance

Civil service and the 2016 budget: more with less, with a vengeance
There’s £3.5bn more to find in cuts, but not until 2019. It's open as to which departments are to carry the can

Osborne's budget cuts will cripple services for vulnerable BME women

Osborne's budget cuts will cripple services for vulnerable BME women
Mary O'Hara: Specialist black and minority ethnic domestic violence services are already under strain

It's Sir Nick Macpherson’s last budget, but he's not one for self-reflection

It's Sir Nick Macpherson’s last budget, but he's not one for self-reflection
David Walker: The Treasury permanent secretary seems unconcerned by his department’s odd constitution

Also on the network
Whitehall officials refuse to use the word profit – and it's costing us £10bn

Whitehall officials refuse to use the word profit – and it's costing us £10bn
Civil servants fixated on minutiae are holding back billion-pound savings in government procurement

Culture is Liverpool's lifeblood but the beast of London is draining us

Culture is Liverpool's lifeblood but the beast of London is draining us
Joe Anderson: We don’t want arts and culture outside London to become a distant memory

News in brief
• Business rates reform included in Osborne's budget
• Ministers announced plans to take schools out of local authority control
• All top Treasury officials based in London, Osborne admits
• Tom Scholar appointed as Treasury permanent secretary
• Peter Riddell to step down as Institute for Government director
• South East Coast ambulance chief quits after 999 furore