No doubt news reports out everywhere this morning make grim reading for UK public sector buyers. Just as anticipated, they have to cut – and cut more – next year and for years to come.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said efficiency savings will help to save £12 billion over the next four years. This is 25 per cent more than was expected.
Brown was speaking ahead of Wednesday’s pre-budget report, which is expected to reveal more detail. But the planned comprehensive spending review will not now happen until after the general election, the government has said.
More worryingly, chancellor Alistair Darling is expected to confirm on Wednesday that annual borrowing will top £175 billion (a figure the government has pledged to halve in four years).
£175 billion? Isn’t that the precise amount it spends on third-party goods and services every year? This means procurement professionals are constantly running to catch up. It does, however, (or at least should) place them centre stage, not just to save on the things we buy but also the things we don’t need to buy.