The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has responded to a number of the draft Bills laid out in the Queen’s Speech.
Responding to the Local Audit and Accountability Bill, Ian Carruthers, CIPFA’s Director of Policy and Technical, said,
“We are pleased to see that the Queen’s speech announced a bill which we hope will provide welcome clarity on the overall shape of the future local public audit regime, as well as the role of qualified professionals within this.
“It is incredibly important that the Bill maintains the unique characteristics of public audit including value for money, the independence of auditors from those they are auditing and the comparability of different public sector bodies. We will therefore be studying the draft bill closely when it is published to assess whether it meets these requirements.”
Responding to the Care and Support Bill, Alison Scott, CIPFA’s Health and Local Government Policy Lead, commented,
“We welcome the Government’s commitment to take Dilnot forward, however we fear that the proposals in this Bill will still not address the long term affordability of social care but merely address the contributions individuals should make towards their owns costs of care.”
Responding to the Pensions Bill, Nigel Keogh, CIPFA’s Pensions Technical Manager, commented,
“Whilst the plans for a universal state pension should bring some certainty to those saving for their retirement, the end to the National Insurance rebate that accompanies the Bill is a major concern for public sector employers. The Treasury has already made clear that public sector scheme rules will not be amended to take account of the extra cost to employers. Across the public sector this could amount to an additional annual cost of £3.3 billion, which, on top of existing budget cuts, represents a further substantial challenge to hard-pressed public service providers.
“We are also concerned that the 1.4% increase in NI contributions may adversely affect employee participation rates in public sector pension schemes. The combined effects of pay freezes and employee contribution increases have already led to a decline in scheme membership. This change may cause further decreases in the employee contributions needed to fund today’s pensions costs.”
CIPFA Press Office
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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.