» Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Government Efficiency

Put that the PMS had said that the Chief Secretary had stated that there was scope to go beyond the figures mentioned, the PMS replied that what the Chief Secretary did say was that the Chancellor would be updating the House in the PBR on what the interim conclusions were of the reviews of the five work-streams that would take us beyond the 30billion. Asked for a timescale on the 30billion, the PMS said that this would be over the period of this spending review.

Asked if this would entail huge job cuts and was this the message that the Government wanted to send to the country at the moment, the PMS said that the message the Government wanted to send to the public at the moment was that the Government would do everything possible to help the economy, to help families and to help businesses now. It was clear, as was becoming widely accepted around the world, that what the economy needed was immediate help and that was what we would be setting out in the PBR.

Of course it was essential that the Government got the best value for money for every penny it spent and that was why we initiated the process with the Gershon Review and we had overachieved on the targets in that. We had set out a very stretching target for this spending review period and we had said in the Budget that we thought there was scope to go even beyond that target.

There had been a lot of detailed work that had been undertaken by the Treasury and other departments since the Budget on the efficiency programme and it was right that we achieved the best value for money. It was also right that we provided immediate help for families and businesses now and that was what we would be doing in the PBR.

Asked how this would help civil servants who had been made redundant, the PMS said we were talking about a programme over a number of years. The Prime Minister was very clear in his speech in New York that we were not in the business of protecting jobs. What this was about was that if people did lose their jobs, they got help from the Government to ensure that they had the skills and that they were aware of the opportunities so that they could move into another job as quickly as possible.

Asked if there had been any discussion about delaying some projects, the PMS said that the focus was on the efficiency saving and what we could do in order to ensure we got best value for money on how we could move beyond the 30billion target we had already set ourselves.

original source.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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