Government unveils £14.3bn of savings for 2013 to 2014
The government’s programme of Efficiency and Reform helped save hard-working taxpayers £14.3bn in 2013 to 2014, against a 2009 to 2010 baseline, Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne and Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude announced today.
These unprecedented savings have been delivered by departments across government and coordinated by the Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG), established after the 2010 general election. The group, which works with government departments to make savings and address wasteful spend, is a joint Cabinet Office and HM Treasury initiative led by the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude.
The £14.3bn saved is equivalent to nearly £850 for each working household across Britain – that’s enough to fund over half a million nurses or pay for more than three million primary school places. These savings follow £10bn saved with ERG for 2012 to 2013, £5.5bn in 2011 to 2012 and £3.75bn in 2010 to 2011 – all measured against a 2009 to 2010 baseline; some are recurring costs and some are one-off.
Right across government there is a determination to make every taxpayer penny count. For example, ERG is working to help departments reduce reliance on expensive consultants and to make savings on everyday items such as printer cartridges, paper and computers used in schools, hospitals and other government buildings.
Savings have been found in the following ways:
£5.4bn has been saved by improving government’s commercial contracts, including a radical overhaul of central government procurement through the new Crown Commercial Service which strengthens the government’s business-like approach to how it buys goods and services.
Over £200m has been saved by improving government’s digital services and moving more services online, ensuring that citizens’ experience is simpler, clearer and faster. The government has also radically overhauled technology spend to get the best possible value for money. For example, £62m was saved by bringing Directgov and BusinessLink websites ontoGOV.UK.
£0.6bn has been saved through selling empty buildings and exiting expensive rentals in sought-after locations. More government departments are now sharing office space. An example is One Horseguard’s Road which now houses the majority of HM Treasury, the Department of Culture Media and Sport, the Northern Ireland Office, and parts of the Cabinet Office which has vacated other buildings.
£3.3bn has been saved by tackling waste and inefficiency through large scale projects. For example the Highways Agency Major Roads programme has saved nearly £380m across schemes, including smart motorway projects.
£4.7bn has been saved by reducing the size of the civil service, now down 16% since 2010, and reforming civil service pensions.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said: “Tackling waste and inefficiency across government is a key part of our long term economic plan. These savings have helped protect front line services and get our public finances back onto a sound footing.
“There is more to do. But today’s announcement shows that we deliver on the savings we set out to make, so that the taxes of hardworking people are spent on what matters most.”
The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, said: “Eliminating waste and cutting the deficit is a key part of this government’s long-term plan for the economy. This is about backing hard-working people by spending taxpayers’ money responsibly, keeping mortgage rates down so people have more financial security and building a better future for our country.
“For 2013 to 2014 we have saved taxpayers an unprecedented £14.3bn against a 2009 to 2010 baseline – that’s nearly £850 for every working household across Britain.
“I’m proud of what we have done but we know there’s so much more to do.”