Tories: Departments must act like businesses to cut costs

6 October 2009

07 October 2009 | Jake Kanter

UK government departments must "constantly review procurement" to cut costs, according to the Conservatives.

Speaking at the party conference in Manchester yesterday, shadow chancellor George Osborne said he plans to help the public sector save £7 billion a year.

Departments must get "more for less" and act "like businesses" by reviewing purchasing processes, he said, by rooting out waste and publishing spending information online.

Other Tory proposals include reducing government quangos by at least a third and freezing public sector pay in 2011.

"This will make the greatest contribution to reducing the budget deficit," he said. "Tens of billions of pounds will have to be saved this way."

Critics said Osborne "failed to spell out any tough action".

Dave Prentis, general secretary of trade union Unison, said: "The shadow chancellor has wrapped up public sector cuts, public sector pay freezes, a rise in retirement age and reduced pension rights in warm words that will ring hollow with Britain's army of public sector workers."

Earlier this week, the party promised to publish online all central government deals out to tender worth more than £10,000 (Web news, 6 October).

SMoct2009

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