Public sector savings plan should be long-term

19 March 2008
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19 March 2008 | Jake Kanter

Efficiency savings made as part of the Gershon review should be the start of a much longer campaign, according to its originator.

Speaking this morning on the BBC's Today Programme, Sir Peter Gershon said for the government to sustain efficiency improvements, it needs to put in place a 10-year programme.

And he added he wants it to drive more ambitious cashable savings over the next three years.

Gershon also revealed half of the £23 billion savings made over the past three years is cashable. The other half has come from efforts such as reducing absenteeism.

Responding to scepticism from the National Audit Office over the validity of savings (Web news, 11 October), Gershon said measuring cuts is more challenging in the public sector than in the private. But he did admit analysing efficiencies could have been improved earlier in the programme.

But he insisted he was happy with what the review had achieved. "Am I pleased that the review has broadly delivered what I thought it would and laid the foundations for a more ambitious programme over the next three years? Yes, I'm very proud to be associated with that," he said.



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