Goverment's cuts save £3.75bn, Maude claims

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The Government has saved £3.75bn in less than a year by cutting jobs, axing projects and reining in its spending, it claimed yesterday.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said they were "staggering" results. Officials need his approval on many spending decisions, including marketing proposals above £20,000 and IT projects of more than £1m.

A programme, to electronically collect information on movements in and out of the UK, was axed as it would "not deliver". Cutting outside consultants saved £870m, with £500m saved by spending cuts on temporary agency staff. A "stronger control" of marketing spend at the Central Office of Information saved £400m. Centralising spending on common goods and services saved £360m and £800m was saved from renegotiating deals with government suppliers.

Some £300m was saved by applying "greater scrutiny" to IT. The Government studied its property estate and saved £90m by "exerting better control over lease renewals".

Axing 17,000 civil service posts saved some £300m in salary costs.