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Councils accused of ‘bending the rules’ on balance sheets

Councils are trying to hide the dire state of their finances by 'bending the rules' on their balance sheets, finance chief Rob Whiteman has claimed.

The chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) said: ‘Government is allowing councils to bend the accounting rules in order that it, the Government, isn’t held to blame for the dire state of council’s finances and its impact on services,’ he said.

Mr Whiteman called on the accountancy rules to be changed to make councils and other public bodies state how much of their budgets are spent on prevention – and to make prevention spend more like capital investments with prudential borrowing-style rules.

Read the full interview with The MJ here (£).