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Saturday, 01 November 2014

UK government rolls out 'Spending Challenge' consultation

UK— David Cameron today kicked off a promised consultation exercise on ways to reduce government spending, asking public sector workers and members of the public to share their ideas on where to make cuts.

Public sector workers have been invited to have the first say via the Spending Challenge website, where an e-form can be used to make suggestions to a cross-government team who will choose some ideas and pass them on to departmental and Treasury spending teams before ministers review them.

Cameron (pictured) and his deputy Nick Clegg have said that the government “will look at every single idea that comes in” though there is no guarantee any of the suggestions will make it through to the final Spending Review report, which will set out detailed spending plans for all government departments and will be published on 20 October.

In a letter to public sector workers Cameron and Clegg wrote: “The biggest challenge our country faces is dealing with our huge debts – and that means we have to reduce public spending.

“Like many private sector organisations, we have chosen to control salaries rather than see higher job losses. The more we can find savings, the more flexibility we will have to avoid job losses and wage cuts. We want you to help us find those savings, so we can cut public spending in a way that is fair and responsible. You work on the fron tline of public services. You know where things are working well, where the waste is, and where we can re-think things so that we get better services for less money.”

The consultation will be opened up to members of the general public from 9 July.

Chancellor George Osborne set out this week the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition’s ambition to cut most departments’ spending by 25% over four years.

 

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Readers' comments (10)

  • I wish to find out has the consultation gone to the public yet - I have many ideas I would like to put forward - do you have a place/www/address to which I could send these ideas.

    Thanx

    Nessa

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  • The site, linked above, is:
    http://spendingchallenge.hm-treasury.gov.uk/

  • Dear Nessa - I, too, have an idea and from this piece I see that we can have our go as from 9 July

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  • Despite having worked in Local Government for 32 years I appear to have been missed off the mailing list or can I presume my letter is in the much more efficient privatised post?

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  • I also seem to have been missed off the mailing list. Is this how I inform the Government of this fact or is there an email address you can supply?

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  • Much time and money is wasted by utilities digging up roads. There seems to be a move to fine utilities who overrun there contract time. This will lead to utilities building in extra time when the contract is negotiated.( Utilities appear to have much better negotiating skills than local authorities). Would it not make more sense to have a system whereby anyone requiring to dig up the public highway should be charged a sum (e.g. £1000 per day) for the posession of the road. This would lead to incentives to get the job done on time and also to ensure co-operation between different utilities to make use of shared time slots thus avoiding the situation where one utility completes a job only for the same piece of highway being dug up again a few weeks later by a different utility

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  • Interesting idea – though I think you'd be better off telling the government rather than us.

  • I work in the public sector and did not receive any communication inviting my views.

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  • Brian Tarran

    I'd like to thank the many people who have submitted comments to this story explaining where they think the government can save money.

    We have made the decision not to publish them as we take the view that the discussion here should focus on the research and consultative aspects of this project, rather than acting as a forum to share cost-cutting ideas.

    Please direct your cost-cutting ideas to the government, but if you have something to add about the consultation itself - will it work? is it being managed robustly? what are they doing right? what could they do better? - please feel free to contribute below.

    Brian Tarran, news editor

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  • The enthusiasm for harsh cuts of some politicians is more than well understandable. Those people are shocked. A repetition of the crisis of the 30'ies was avoided by techniques that where condemned for many decade as absolutely inadequate and to avoid at any cost.

    To regain their equilibrium, to make their view on the world again consistent, there must be an immediate threat that can only be avoided by many cut's and a smaller government.

    However, not letting deficits persist to long, avoiding interest's on interest's is only a part of the job. More important is putting in to place protection mechanism to avoid future crisis's of the same kind.

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  • i for 1 would like to know the cost of each consultation the government spends on each consultation they set up

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  • First scrap party politics - its just a vehicle for stupid arguements.
    Ministers are elected - then put in charge of departments they nothing about. Parliament should be a rich resource of expertise, experience, practicality and common sense. This reform should start in local government.

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