CBI urges public sector to cut waste

19 May 2010

May 19 2010 | Lindsay Clark

The CBI is calling for the re-engineering of public services to help get finances under control, including reform of procurement starting this financial year.

The UK business lobby group said duplication and waste in the public sector should be tackled quickly to cut costs and improve services by sharing or outsourcing support services and improving procurement. It repeated the claim it made in October’s pre-budget submission that improving public sector purchasing and reducing duplication in the process could save £13.5 billion by 2015-16.

Spelling out its priorities for the new government in a Time for action: Reforming public services and balancing the budget, the CBI emphasised that savings could be achieved through a re-shaping of public service provision, including using the private and third-sector to deliver better outcomes more efficiently.

Richard Lambert, CBI director-general, said: “We have a new government with a determination to get a grip on the public finances and the political will to do it. We need to see a detailed plan for achieving this in the Budget. Experience suggests that the best way of bringing down a substantial deficit without damaging growth is through spending restraint rather than raising taxes.”

Public sector reform must also be accompanied by policies that allow the private sector to deliver growth, investment and jobs, the CBI said.

As reported by SM, the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition government has begun work on £6 billion of spending cuts to reduce the £163 billion budget deficit.  The government plans to release more details next week and will hold an emergency budget on 22 June.

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