Autumn Statement prediction
Could a Whitehall efficiency programme be the big surprise?
27 November 2014
Mike Turley, head of public sector at Deloitte, the business advisory firm, comments:
“Details of an ambitious government reform plan could be this Autumn Statement’s big surprise. A Whitehall efficiency programme for the next Parliament has long been promised in time for next week’s statement, but no detail has emerged. And with half the deficit still to be eliminated, achieving efficiencies through reform could play a huge role in mitigating the impact of government spending cuts to come.
“Productivity improvements could help the state deliver the same activities or more with reduced budgets. Our analysis suggests that each one per cent of public sector staff time saved through a productivity measure is worth £1.6 billion to the public purse.
“With regard to public sector borrowing, tax receipts have been lower than hoped, meaning borrowing in 2014-15 has been higher than the previous year in every month up to October. This Autumn Statement could well change the official outlook for reducing the deficit as the Office for Budget Responsibility recalibrates its forecasts.”
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