09 September 2009
The UK Conservative party has vowed to publish all government purchases over £25,000 in a bid to make savings.
In a speech yesterday, Tory leader David Cameron said the UK government must show leadership on cost cutting at a time when public service spending reductions are inevitable.
He said a Tory government would make total savings of £120 million a year by giving local authorities greater power over spending decisions and publishing every public sector purchase over £25,000.
Cameron said: "Look at MPs' expenses. The simple act of publishing information online has brought about real change. It has transformed the culture of MPs' spending at a stroke and it is already starting to save money. Just imagine what will happen when we publish all government spending online."
He also said big procurement projects "can no longer be sacrosanct". The Conservative party has already underlined its commitment to scrapping big money deals, after vowing to drop the Home Office's ID card scheme if it wins power (Web news, 17 June 2009).
Meanwhile, Chancellor Alistair Darling said yesterday the government had "stepped up its efforts" to cut costs to try to avoid reducing front-line services.
He said Labour had already delivered savings of £26.5 billion since 2004 and was looking to rationalise public sector property and share back-office functions. He added that the NHS is renegotiating drugs contracts in a bid to save £550 million a year.
Speaking in Cardiff, Darling said: "The first priority has to be to look for areas where we can achieve greater efficiency. Some seem in a hurry to cut services. We are focusing on cutting costs."