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Maude’s efficiency drive saves £3.75bn

The Coalition has managed to exceed the Conservatives’ pre-election target for eliminating waste, by saving £3.75bn in the ten months its have been in power.

The original plan was to find £3.2bn in efficiency savings as part of the wider cuts to Government spending.

Cutting spending in various areas, reducing the size of the civil service and axing projects that would not deliver has allowed these “staggering results”, according to Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude, who has been overseeing the savings and says he has much more planned for the next year.

Maude said: “We will continue to seek out, and eradicate waste in government, whilst also delivering longer term programmes of reform to ensure sustainable change and room for growth across the public sector.”

The savings have been achieved mainly by reducing overhead costs, including limiting the use of consultants, which saved £870m, as well as employing fewer temporary staff, renegotiating contracts with suppliers, cutting spending on Government communications and cutting civil service post.

Rearranging and optimising office space has allowed better control over lease renewals, while applying greater scrutiny to expenditure on ICT has resulted in the elimination of projects such as the e-Borders programme.

The results have been independently audited, but critics have said some of the savings labelled as efficiency gains will result in fewer services and lower standards, meaning they should just be classified as cuts.

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