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Govtoday presents our 2nd Annual National Efficiency & Productivity Conference and Exhibition: Changing the Culture of Government, Reforming Public Services to be held on Tuesday 3rd April 2012 at the prestigious Brewery Conference Centre, London.
When the coalition government was formed in 2010, the scale of the challenge was unprecedented, with the largest budget deficit and largest national debt since the war. The structural deficit was approximately 9 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), and for every £3 collected by government in revenues, £4 was spent. The UK currently spends £43 billion on debt interest, which is more than it spends on schools in England.
The coalition promised to drive out inefficiency and waste totaling some £6.2 billion, and announced a range of measures to be implemented across government. In October 2010, Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude pledged to leave ‘no stone unturned’ in ensuring central government would deliver better for less, tackling the deficit whilst protecting front line services.
The formation of the joint Treasury-Cabinet Office Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG) to drive savings across Whitehall and Arms Length Bodies was a further indication of the rapid response required by the coalition government in the reduction of the UK’s deficit. The Group is empowered to make sure departments work co-operatively to tackle waste and improve accountability across a range of areas, including ICT spend, procurement, advertising and marketing spend, and Civil Service expenses and recruitment.
Central to reduction of the deficit are the Governments priorities of:
- Fairness; and
The Spending Review clearly outlined the measures required to achieve these priorities: focusing spending on infrastructure and skills to promote growth; reducing the deficit fairly whilst protecting the vulnerable; and increasing freedom, sharing and responsibility whilst gaining better value for money from public services.
These priorities and measures have not been without opposition, with the likes of the Labour Party stating that the spending cuts and VAT rises go too far and too fast, strangling the UK’s economic recovery and growth prospects, and leaving the nation at risk from the global economic turmoil.
The Trade Unions voiced concerns over the radical reform plans, with fears that the scale of the cuts to public spending will affect jobs, working conditions and public service delivery.
Furthermore, in August 2011 the British Chambers of Commerce downgraded its prediction for UK GDP growth from 1.3 per cent to 1.1 per cent for 2011 and 2.2 per cent to 2.1 per cent for 2012, stating that growth would be slow, inflation high and unemployment figures on the rise.
Efficiency & Productivity 2012: Changing the Culture of Government, Reforming Public Services will review the Government priorities, examining the radical reform of public services, whilst questioning the effectiveness and implications for those involved in their delivery.
Contribute to our discussion forum
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Senior Manager, CIPFA Finance Advisory Services
The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)
Roman has comprehensive career experience and achievement in the UK local authority sector. He is presently a senior manager within CIPFA, leading and developing collaborative subscriber finance... Read more
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