Latest Public Sector News


Balls promises zero-based spending review

Labour has promised a root and branch zero-based budget review if the Party was to return to Downing Street after the next election.

In an interview with the Guardian, shadow chancellor Ed Balls outlined the review, in a move to convince voters Labour would be more responsible with spending if re-elected. The review would be expected to report within a year after the election and look at the purpose and value of all public spending.

Balls said there would be three qualifications to the review; certain commitments on tax and spending, examining whether cuts would lead to higher costs in the future and a desire to reach cross-party consensus in specific areas such as social care and children in care.

He said: “The public want to know that we are going to be ruthless and disciplined in how we go about public spending. For a Labour government in 2015, it is quite right, and the public I think would expect this, to have a proper zero-based spending review where we say we have to justify every penny and make sure we are spending in the right way.

“We will need to make decisions in our manifesto on our big strategy on taxation and spending, as well as our fiscal rules.

“With zero-based budgeting you can test spending not on the basis of whether it is easy to slash, but whether it meets your priorities. We should try, in a way the coalition has failed, to face up to some of the big strategic questions in public spending.

“It allows you to look radically at public spending and test it against our objectives and priorities. It is something that governments have not done enough in the past. That does not mean that everything is up for grabs.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at

Image c.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

New rules to change the future of Social Value

05/06/2019New rules to change the future of Social Value

The government has announced the introduction of new rules to change the future of social value and make the way housing developers stump up the money for infrastructure both ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >