CIPFA responds to local government finance report


The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has responded to a new report from the Audit Commission which looks at how local authorities are coping with the cuts.

The Audit Commission's Tough Times 2012 is the second report of an annual series and provides an extremely informative view of councils' financial health as they negotiate the third year of austerity.

CIPFA's Chief Executive, Steve Freer, said,

“In many ways the position is very positive. Significant funding reductions have been managed and reserves have been strengthened. However, these characteristics are not universal. In some cases, councils are struggling to deliver the savings required.

“The report is silent about the impact of cuts on services. In that sense it is a part of, but not the whole picture. The challenge facing councils is to maintain strong finances and effective services for the communities they serve.

“Equity remains a critically important element in the equation. Public reactions to cuts are influenced in part by perceptions of fairness. The Government should reflect very carefully on the message from this analysis that deprived communities are bearing a disproportionate share of the pain.”


Contact: Tim Windle

CIPFA Press Office

t 0207 543 5600


Notes to Editors:

  • Steve Freer is available for comment or interview. Please contact Tim Windle to arrange.
  • A copy of Tough Times 2012 can be found here:
  • A copy of CIPFA’s recent report on the challenges facing the Chancellor ahead of the Autumn Statement, The Long Downturn, can be downloaded here:


CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. Our 14,000 members work throughout the public services, in national audit agencies, in major accountancy firms, and in other bodies where public money needs to be effectively and efficiently managed. As the world’s only professional accountancy body to specialise in public services, CIPFA’s portfolio of qualifications are the foundation for a career in public finance. They include the benchmark professional qualification for public sector accountants as well as a postgraduate diploma for people already working in leadership positions. They are taught by our in-house CIPFA Education and Training Centre as well as other places of learning around the world. We also champion high performance in public services, translating our experience and insight into clear advice and practical services. They include information and guidance, courses and conferences, property and asset management solutions, consultancy and interim people for a range of public sector clients. Globally, CIPFA shows the way in public finance by standing up for sound public financial management and good governance. We work with donors, partner governments, accountancy bodies and the public sector around the world to advance public finance and support better public services. This includes the development of local professional qualifications in African countries like Lesotho and Nigeria and in Europe in post conflict states in the Balkans.