NAO Refusing to Sign Off on Treasury Accounts?

#1
Apologies if this has already been posted but I tried using the search feature and nothing turned up.

From The Times, July 4, 2008

National Audit Office rejects Treasury accounts

Dramatic collapse in department’s morale

Francis Elliott and Philip Webster

Britain’s spending watchdog is refusing to approve the Treasury’s accounts, compounding a miserable year for Alistair Darling, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Senior officials spoke last night of a collapse of morale at the Treasury after a string of U-turns and interference by No 10. In another blow to Mr Darling’s independence, Gordon Brown has asked him to carry out a review of green taxation to pave the way for further climbdowns on road tax and fuel duty this autumn.

Mr Darling is fighting a bruising battle with the National Audit Office (NAO), which is unhappy at the way that the nationalisation of Northern Rock is being treated in the Treasury’s books. The annual report from No 11 was published yesterday but, in a highly unusual departure from normal procedure, without the department’s resource accounts.

A Treasury spokesman confirmed the delay but denied that the spending watchdog had threatened to qualify its accounts. The books must be published before the parliamentary recess in three weeks’ time.

“We are working very closely with the NAO to ensure the issues that arise as a result of Northern Rock are properly dealt with in our accounts but we still intend to publish them before the summer recess,” he said.

Treasury officials now face questions from MPs over the delay. Michael Fallon, the chairman of the Treasury Scrutiny Committee, said: “This is a fresh humiliation for Alistair Darling. He has lost control over public finances. Now it looks as if he can’t get his department’s books past the auditors.”

A senior Treasury figure spoke of a “crisis of identity” within what was once Whitehall’s most powerful department. “It is a depressing place to work,” he added.

In a startling admission, Mr Darling revealed yesterday that he had had been urged to take on Mr Brown. “What I’m not going to do is define myself against the Prime Minister,” the Chancellor said. “People ask me, ‘Why don't you do that?’ Well, I don’t think it would be right.”

Mr Darling was forced to seek reassurance from the Prime Minister last month that he would not be moved in a reshuffle. It is understood that Mr Brown has rejected advice that Labour’s collapsing reputation for economic competence can only be reversed by a new figure at No 11. The past year has brought increasing tension between the Treasury and No 10 but there is no suggestion that the friendship between Mr Brown and Mr Darling has suffered. No 10 was thought to have been impatient that the Treasury did not act faster over Northern Rock. The Treasury was irritated that Downing Street delayed an announcement of changes to alleviate concerns over capital gains tax reforms and then went along with what had originally been proposed.

The biggest gripe among Treasury officials was that they had prepared a Report last autumn in a preelection atmosphere, requiring Mr Darling to trump the Conservatives’ plans on inheritance tax that were announced at their conference, only for Mr Brown to call off the election.

Treasury officials have also suggested that Mr Darling was aware of potential problems over Mr Brown’s decision in his final Budget to axe the 10p starting rate of tax but that Mr Brown was “in denial”. Once the storm broke, Mr Darling was undermined as he rushed forward a £2.7 billion “mini-Budget”, with only £700 million of it devoted to assisting low-earners.

There has also also been annoyance in the Treasury over repeated reports that Mr Darling is about to back down over his plans to shake up road tax. Some senior figures within No 10 have supported the idea of a climbdown and a handful of Labour MPs said on Wednesday that the whips had told them that their worries would be met.

Mr Darling made clear yesterday that his priority was to help motorists when they fill up their cars with fuel. “That is something that you pay every week, not once a year,” he said, “and that is something that we in government are very focused on.”
So from what the article says I'm guessing that the Treasury are trying to write up Northern Rock in such as way that they can keep it off the books whilst the NAO are saying that they have to put it down as a liability since the Government have guaranteed it, no doubt smashing a number of Brown's financial rules. It really does just beggar belief. And these are the people we entrust to run the government and the nation's economy?
 
#2
Brick said:
Apologies if this has already been posted but I tried using the search feature and nothing turned up.


So from what the article says I'm guessing that the Treasury are trying to write up Northern Rock in such as way that they can keep it off the books whilst the NAO are saying that they have to put it down as a liability since the Government have guaranteed it, no doubt smashing a number of Brown's financial rules. It really does just beggar belief. And these are the people we entrust to run the government and the nation's economy?
AND propelling Britain past Egypt and Hungary to the highest level of government debt in the world.

With over a thousand billion quid on the old corporate Barclaycard, you and I will be paying record levels of tax well after Cyclops retires to a string of lucrative directorships.
 
#3
Ancient_Mariner said:
Brick said:
Apologies if this has already been posted but I tried using the search feature and nothing turned up.


So from what the article says I'm guessing that the Treasury are trying to write up Northern Rock in such as way that they can keep it off the books whilst the NAO are saying that they have to put it down as a liability since the Government have guaranteed it, no doubt smashing a number of Brown's financial rules. It really does just beggar belief. And these are the people we entrust to run the government and the nation's economy?
AND propelling Britain past Egypt and Hungary to the highest level of government debt in the world.

With over a thousand billion quid on the old corporate Barclaycard, you and I will be paying record levels of tax well after Cyclops retires to a string of lucrative directorships.
You reckon anybody in the business world would employ him for his skills, knowledge and experience? I doubt it, unless as a Trainee........ :D
 
#5
I have lost count of the number of times I have said this on the Board
Let Labour run the economy and all you have to do is just wait and they'll screw it.
john
Tax and spend is basic Labour thinking.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
Don't worry chaps - this Wednesday is when the accounts for the Labliar Party have to be signed off - if all goes as planned, they close the b@stards down and bankrupt Broon . . . . personally!

Of course, I'd expect some very hurried law changes between now and Wednesday to stop that happening. Yet another abuse of the laws of the land that apply to everyone BUT MPs and political parties.
 
#9
meridian said:
Not forgetting of course all the PFI, civ and mil, that are off balance sheet
I could be wrong but isn't the NAO or the EU enfrcing some sort of accounting rules change in the near future that will force them all to be counted? I could have sworn I read something about it possibly happening a few months back.

Biped said:
Don't worry chaps - this Wednesday is when the accounts for the Labliar Party have to be signed off - if all goes as planned, they close the b@stards down and bankrupt Broon . . . . personally!
Unfortunately I believe one or more of the unions have stepped in to guarentee the debt, thus keeping the Labour Party technically solvent. Which means not only do they get to keep trundling forwards to electoral oblivion but the unions effectively have their gonads in a vice for the next two years. Look forward to seeing all sorts of new demands being made soon.
 
#10
Brown is to blame. 'Captain' Darling is simply the guy who was too slow to say no to replacing 'Stalin' as Chancellor.

Brown is to blame, together with the third rate idiot Bliar, for the appalling state of this nation's finances.

Both should be impeached for irresponsibilty and for engaging in an illegal war.
 
#11
Brick, I think under new EU laws all the hidden PFI have to be brought onto the balance sheet. You'll be able to see how really fcuked you all are then ;) I've got the Bumper book of government waste at home and according to it, when they checked, for each household your in hock for 24,000 pounds by this bunch of chancers. Nice to know you still have to pay of the price of a family car once we get shot of this lot. No doubt that will rise a few quid by then too. New Labour, same sh1t!
 
#12
Ord_Sgt said:
Brick, I think under new EU laws all the hidden PFI have to be brought onto the balance sheet. You'll be able to see how really fcuked you all are then ;) I've got the Bumper book of government waste at home and according to it, when they checked, for each household your in hock for 24,000 pounds by this bunch of chancers. Nice to know you still have to pay of the price of a family car once we get shot of this lot. No doubt that will rise a few quid by then too. New Labour, same sh1t!
Nearly correct (but only because of the delays implmented by NuLiars):

http://www.publicfinance.co.uk/features_details.cfm?News_id=32838

The question has been hanging in the ether for some time. IFRS were due to be implemented by the government from April, but this has been put off until 2009/10, because neither the Ministry of Defence nor the Department of Health, Whitehall’s two biggest PFI users, are sufficiently advanced in trawling contracts to determine which should now go on the balance sheet.

.
 

Unknown_Quantity

War Hero
Moderator
#13
Ord_Sgt said:
Brick, I think under new EU laws all the hidden PFI have to be brought onto the balance sheet. You'll be able to see how really fcuked you all are then ;) I've got the Bumper book of government waste at home and according to it, when they checked, for each household your in hock for 24,000 pounds by this bunch of chancers. Nice to know you still have to pay of the price of a family car once we get shot of this lot. No doubt that will rise a few quid by then too. New Labour, same sh1t!
That'll be more than the average UK salary I think...
 
#14
But the sheep and the client state will vote them again.

And how many people who now distance themselves were taken in by the Blair Third Way in the beginning..
 
#15
Biped said:
Don't worry chaps - this Wednesday is when the accounts for the Labliar Party have to be signed off - if all goes as planned, they close the b@stards down and bankrupt Broon . . . . personally!

Of course, I'd expect some very hurried law changes between now and Wednesday to stop that happening. Yet another abuse of the laws of the land that apply to everyone BUT MPs and political parties.
We're in more or less the same mess as in 1979. Cyclops is just better at lying than Jim Callaghan was - and Dave lacks the balls of Thatcher.

Regarding the prospect of Cyclops, Kieth Vaz, Harriet Harman, Dennis Skinner and the rest of the NEC being made personally bankrupt, I've revised my position.

I've now got no doubt that the unions will bail Labour out. They're more afraid of a Tory government than Cyclops is. However, I'm sure they'll extract their pound of flesh - every ounce of it. As I write this, I can see Gordon on his knees in front of the brothers at the TUC.

"Mr Courage" has already bent over and grabbed his ankles for his own back bench MPs to get the 42 day legislation passed. Lifting sanctions on Cuba and dishing out half a million quid each for redundant miners are reportedly coming to a Parliament near you before the next election.

What'll he be promising the TUC? Time off work whenever you feel like it it is on the cards already. Quadrupling the 'Union Modernisation Fund' to 40 million quid with a 50/50 split betweent the unions and the Labour party would seem to be the obvious solution.

Worryingly, there is some evidence that he's reached breaking point and is considering what's been referred to as a 'scorched earth' economic policy in the run up to the election.

Trouble is, it's you and I who'll be getting burned while Messrs Brown and Blair retire to an ex-pat tax haven to write their memoirs.
 
#16
Simply staying in line with the European Soviet Union. Their accounts have not been 'signed-off' for years!

Still, it is only our tax money.

PS. I have it on good authority that the:

'Collapse of Treasury Morale'

occured on 2nd of May 1997, when the disaffected Scottish moron became the Chancellor of the Exchequer and proceeded to ruin the nation.
 
#17
The question has been hanging in the ether for some time. IFRS were due to be implemented by the government from April, but this has been put off until 2009/10, because neither the Ministry of Defence nor the Department of Health, Whitehall’s two biggest PFI users, are sufficiently advanced in trawling contracts to determine which should now go on the balance sheet.
Translation - "Shit, we've been rumbled. Best put off releasing the figures until after the next general election just in case there's even the smallest chance that we might win, and besides this way the next lot have to deal with it." I do love the bit about the MoD and Department of Health not being able to keep track of how much they owe to different people and whether it should be declared or not, certainly make you feel confident in their fiscal responsibility doesn't it?

Ancient_Mariner said:
I've now got no doubt that the unions will bail Labour out. They're more afraid of a Tory government than Cyclops is. However, I'm sure they'll extract their pound of flesh - every ounce of it. As I write this, I can see Gordon on his knees in front of the brothers at the TUC.
I do believe that they've already floated ideas such as increasing the maximum rate of National Insurance or allowing secondary picketing again in the press.
 
#18
Unknown_Quantity said:
Ord_Sgt said:
Brick, I think under new EU laws all the hidden PFI have to be brought onto the balance sheet. You'll be able to see how really fcuked you all are then ;) I've got the Bumper book of government waste at home and according to it, when they checked, for each household your in hock for 24,000 pounds by this bunch of chancers. Nice to know you still have to pay of the price of a family car once we get shot of this lot. No doubt that will rise a few quid by then too. New Labour, same sh1t!
That'll be more than the average UK salary I think...
surprisingly its around the same as MP's annual expences 8O tin foil time or just off chance figures do you think Ord_Sgt 8O
 

Similar threads

New Posts

Top