03 February 2005 | Cara Whitehouse
Local council purchasers would face lower savings targets if the Conservatives win the next general election, according to a party spokesman.
The target comes despite Tory pledges to slash overall government spending by £35 billion.
David James' value-for-money review for the Tories called for £4.4 billion savings from local government procurement and back-office functions by 2007-8.
This falls short of the £6.5 billion of cuts demanded of them by Sir Peter Gershon's equivalent review for the government.
A spokesperson for the James review described the Tory target as "highly achievable".
The Conservatives have set a £35 billion savings target across government, £13.5 billion more than Labour.
Other notable procurement departments affected by the Tory review include the Defence Logistics Organisation and Defence Procurement Agency.
James proposes "merging the buying parts of these organisations into a single defence acquisition agency"'.
The party has said it would spend the released money on tax cuts, front-line services and reducing public borrowing.