A groundbreaking new report jointly produced by the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) and the Institute of Directors (IoD) lays out detailed proposals to save £50 billion of annual public expenditure. Inspired by the dire state of the public finances, which both David Cameron and Chancellor Alistair Darling this week said requires action, the two organisations – the leading bodies representing taxpayers and company directors, respectively – have joined forces to produce a series of 32 practical steps which have the potential to save £42.5 billion a year from 2010-11 and a further 2 steps saving £7.5 billion that could be introduced from 2011-12.
As well as laying out how to make such sizeable savings, the report discusses the urgent need for reductions in public expenditure, and compares the behaviour of the public sector, which has continued to grow through the recession, to the widespread streamlining and improvement of efficiency that businesses have been forced to carry out in order to remain profitable or even to survive. Notably, the report does not rely on generalised efficiency savings, but on reducing or removing unproductive items of government expenditure that don’t work, or are not essential.
The report's authors also urge the Government to make its expenditure more transparent, in order to allow the IoD and the TPA, along with the rest of the British public, to identify further savings.
The full report can be read here (PDF).
The full programme of 34 proposed savings consists of:
For full details of each proposal, please see the relevant section of the full report, which is available online here (PDF).
Miles Templeman, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:
"The UK is in the middle of a government debt crisis and our report sets out tangible proposals to cut the deficit. Businesses are right now making savings and cutting back on costs to get through the recession, and there is no reason why the public sector should not have to do the same. Any cut in spending naturally has the potential for some pain, but our list shows that large sums can be saved without hurting vital services. We hope this will start a serious public debate about the best ways money can be saved, and whether the state needs to withdraw from certain activities it can no longer afford.”
Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:
"Families and businesses have had to tighten their belts with the onset of the recession, so it is now time for the Government to follow suit. It is absolutely essential that public spending is reduced to rebalance the nation's finances. After years of simply spending more and assuming the taxpayer will pick up the bill, the situation has changed. These proposals offer practical, reasonable ways to save large amounts of money and politicians in Westminster would do well to take them on board. Taxpayers cannot afford to sustain the current rate of spending, and they want to see an end to their money being spent unwisely."