Outlook: Public spending
Tuesday 10 August 1999
"In accordance with Alastair Campbell's instructions, the launch of the PSPP was timed to ensure that every department comes up with at least one positive announcement for each week of the parliamentary recess.
The bad news is that the Chief Secretary has told us to identify pounds 8bn worth of savings. The good news is that we have until 2001 and anyway, even pounds 8bn is only 2.5 per cent of total public spending.
After a brainstorming session down the pub, here are a few ideas we might conceivably build on. Clare (Spottiswoode) has been asked to find pounds 150m of savings from the annual police budget. As you know, Clare understands the criminal mentality better than most having been accused by British Gas of masterminding "the biggest smash and grab raid in history". Her suggestion is that we put David Varney in charge of the Met and watch those savings materialise miraculously with only a fraction of the job losses initially threatened.
John (Mayo) has been charged with sorting out the schools, making them more accountable, that sort of thing. His initial thought was to turn them all into individual cost centres reporting their financial returns monthly to Lord Weinstock. Then he remembered that this is New Labour, New GEC and is now working on a demerger plan.
The other John (Makinson) is taking a look at pay in the Inland Revenue and Benefits Agency and how to motivate staff. He appreciates that linking pay to performance, whilst holding out the possibility of truly enormous savings, could also be bade for morale. Instead he suggests free Penguin Classics in place of luncheon vouchers.
Andrew (Foster, as in Controller of the Audit Commission) hasn't yet decided what to do about housing repairs and gingering up the DVLA. But he reckons if he makes a decent fist of this, he is a shoe-in for the top job at the CBI - apparently its where everyone goes onto from the Audit Commission.
As for myself, you know KPMG had rather a success in advising HMG to turn BNFL into a PPP and I'm sure the PM can be persuaded that the NHS is a suitable case for similar treatment.
Our next meeting is in September. See you all then. Dame Sheila Masters.
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer released: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN human rights chief
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £25K: SThree: SThree Group has been well estab...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: This really is a fantastic chance to joi...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: CXL, Triple Po...
£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...