Emergency Budget

Over the last 13 years, the British economy has got into a right mess in the belief that spend, spend, spend was the way to generate growth in the economy. On one level, this approach succeeded – the UK economy did grow but the growth was achieved on the back of massive debt, both personal and within Government.
The result – the biggest deficit ever and massive public borrowings that will take generations to repay.
So the new coalition government have little alternative but to blame the previous spend, spend, spend approach of the Blair/Brown administration and implement massive cuts in public expenditure and increase taxation in order to balance the books.
My question to you is whether this is the only way to get out of the mess that we find ourselves in.
Lets look a little deeper into the output from all of this spend over the last decade;
• A massive public sector – the size of the public sector increased massively under the labor government that tried to control every aspect of our lives
• Gross excesses and duplication in front line services – you only need to look at either the business support or social support services to see evidence of this duplication. The result is that people and business just don’t know who to turn to for help and advice and instead go to talk to many different departments all offering something similar
• private sector companies getting fat on the back of public sector contracts – this is prevalent in the business support area where contracts are awarded for support structures but with no real evaluation of success ever undertaken – how can we ever know whether we got value for money
• Inefficiencies across all Public Sector bodies – a recent IoD study highlights that if the Public Sector had maintained the level of efficiency gains achieved within the private sector during the labour government, the savings would be exceeded A�57bn!
So what can be done?
I suggest that the most effective approach would be a route and branch review of what we need from each public sector body – what are they there to achieve and more importantly, what do the public require from them, because after all they are there to serve the public.
In private sector, we challenge the status quo at every opportunity – I don’t see that in Public Sector organizations.
My experience of the Public Sector is that they shy away from looking at best in industry practices or from getting involved in collaboration projects – they hide behind the comment that “the public sector is different” and therein lies the problem.
The longer the Public Sector is allowed to bury its head in the Consultancy Skills Training sand, the longer it will take for us to get out of this mess.
We need to aggressively cut Business Law Partnerships out waste from the system.
We need to challenge every activity and service to see whether it is adding value
We need to completely review how we procure goods and services
We need to encourage Private and Public sector firms to collaborate to ensure that best practice is translated and we rid ourselves of the mistaken belief that the ‘public sector is different’
Yes, this will create job losses, yes it will have an impact on all of our lives and yes, it will probably mean that we will still have to raise taxes.
However, it will mean that we have minimized the impact – it is completely unreasonable to think that we can sit back and do nothing – we all have to take a stand and do something to ensure that our children and our children’s children can live in a country that can provide them with a platform to achieve greatness.
Let’s stop moaning about it and let’s stop trying to protect every aspect of our public services. Rather, let’s ensure that this Government listens to our needs and makes the changes that are required rather than the ones that will get maximum political impact.

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