Public sector finance Archives - Page 5 of 7 - Emile Woolf writes

Extreme action fails: whether it’s EU politics or over-zealous accounting

 The human condition is characterized by periodic swings between lawless permissiveness at one extreme and uncompromising rigidity at the other. Whenever one dominates it falls victim to corrective processes that, in turn, become excessive. Sanity is restored only when the pendulum returns, even briefly, to a position somewhere between. Abuses of vulnerable members of society […]

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Dealing with debt: forget the economics – it’s just arithmetic

As the great Warren Buffett famously put it, “when the tide goes out you can see who’s bathing nude”. By now it’s clear that the West’s relative wealth, accumulated over the past 10 years, is largely illusory. Created essentially by debt, it has been bolstered by artificially low exchange rates against stronger economies. As European […]

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Psychosis grips British banking. Yet who will break the deadlock?

I have written regularly on banking folly – a subject everyone now knows to be inexhaustible. In Accountancy, March 2005, I wrote: “The size of the credit mountain is without precedent…… should we ask whether it is sustainable? Or should we worry?” I noted that five of Britain’s top-10 companies were banks, compared with none […]

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Tax and accounting are the drivers: but where are they taking us?

Purists maintain that accounting and taxation should be neutral in terms of economic impact. Decision-making should be based on what’s good for the business – for its customers, staff and shareholders – without distortion by complex tax and accounting rules. But we have strayed: there is scarcely a decision untainted by daunting tax or accounting […]

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Reduce the deficit? Then reduce waste in public finances

The question of public sector finances has descended into an irrational bunfight. Watch the “contestants” hurl abuse at each other on “Question Time”. Last month I was invited by Eddie Mair of Radio 4’s PM programme to comment on the level of senior salaries in the public sector. My observation that taxes raised from the […]

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Is the single currency doomed? The problems were there from the start

These days we are all committed to sacrifice, whether attributable to tax increases, reduced public services or declining incomes. This sacrificial thread affects government too, although in a different way. Coalition, by definition, requires the combining parties to sacrifice, or place on the back burner, many of the policies for which they hoped the election […]

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