Prime Minister defends efficiency savings

17 December 2007
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17 December 2007 | Paul Snell

Gershon efficiency savings have been "more or less achieved", according to the Prime Minister.

Speaking in front of the Commons Liaison Committee, which includes the chairmen of 30 select committees, Gordon Brown said that he was looking "almost every week" at what departments were doing to achieve value for money and efficiencies.

Conservative MP Michael Jack questioned Brown on the validity of efficiency savings achieved, particularly the "question marks" raised by the National Audit Office over claimed savings so far (Web news, 11 October). Brown said discrepancies were not over if savings had been achieved, but how savings, particularly those that are non-cashable, could be measured.

But when pressed further on the £3 billion savings the NAO said were "substantially incorrect", Brown said: "I do not accept these figures". When asked to explain, he said it would be clear if services such as health and education were not making value for money savings.

"They have got to get 3 per cent [annual efficiency savings], and of course if they do not get these savings, then it will become very clear what is happening to the service," he said.

SMdec2007

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