UK government on track to exceed £20 billion of savings for taxpayersStaff writer ▼ | March 24, 2015
The UK government has already identified £11 billion of efficiency and reform savings for the next financial year up to January 2015.
United Kingdom £1,100 for each family across Britain
The savings include a mixture of recurring and non-recurring items.
The £20 billion for this financial year is equivalent to £1,100 for each family across Britain – enough to fund over 700,000 nurses or pay for more than 4.7 million primary school places.
The Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude today announced that for 2014-15 up to January 2015, the government has already identified £11 billion of efficiency and reform savings, compared to a 2009 to 2010 baseline – an increase of a third from the same point last year.
The savings include a mixture of recurring and non-recurring items, and will be reviewed and verified at year-end by an independent auditor, as they have been for previous years. Benefits from fraud, error and uncollected debt reductions this year are still to come.
The Minister confirmed that the Civil Service has reached its smallest size since the Second World War with 21% fewer civil servants on a like-for-like basis. Central government’s property estate is down by a fifth and the government has got out of 2,018 buildings – the equivalent of 1 a day – since 2010.
Property assets will now be centrally owned and managed to speed up savings. And an innovative deal to create a joint venture (Crown Hosting Data Centres Limited) for hosting data servers will save up to £100 million over 7 years.
These savings follow the £14.3 billion saved for 2013 to 2014, the £10 billion saved for 2012 to 2013, £5.5 billion for 2011 to 2012 and £3.75 billion for 2010 to 2011 – all measured against a 2009 to 2010 baseline. These figures also include a mixture of recurring and non-recurring items and have been verified by the National Audit Office.
These savings figures are not national or official statistics; they are management information evidenced, normally, by department reports. They have been assured by government's internal auditors. These independent auditors report to the Audit Committee, chaired by an independent Non-Executive Director, not to a politician or to an official. ■