Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude has announced that eradicating waste in Whitehall has put the Government firmly on track to make around £5bn in cash savings this year – an even greater number than last year’s significant savings.
Last year’s tough controls in property, procurement, ICT and staffing introduced by the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury delivered a £3.75bn in cash savings in just one year. These figures have since been corroborated by key independent auditors, including the National Audit Office (NAO). This was the first time the NAO has ever corroborated government savings figures in this way.
As part of its continuing pledge to leave no stone unturned in the hunt for waste, this year the Government can already confirm that in just eight months it has secured £3.25bn in cash savings from efficiency measures. This will help departments live within their tighter budgets set at the Spending Review. On top of this, work carried out to uncover waste in areas such as fraud, error and debt mean that projected savings for the full financial year are anticipated to be around £5bn.
Mr Maude said: “It was never our goal just to save money in year one and move on. There can and will be no turning back in the ongoing hunt to root out waste in Whitehall and cut costs to protect frontline services. Our new business-like approach and steely determination to get value for taxpayers’ money means we now expect to make £5bn in cash savings by the time this financial year is out.
“But that is not all that has changed. For the first time, like any large business, we now have an effective operations centre at the heart of government – one that will keep delivering savings for the taxpayer year after year. We always knew that change of this scale would not always be easy or popular, but it was necessary and I believe today’s figures will show once and for all that the sceptics were wrong.”