Over £3.4bn saved as government ramps up cost-cutting programme

More than £3.4bn was saved in 2020/21 through successful efforts to improve efficiency across Whitehall, maximising value for taxpayers and putting more money back into vital public services.

Significant savings were made through cutting losses from fraud and debt (£1.8bn), improved buying decisions (£1.4bn) and more effective use of digital services (£142m).

Data matching, for example, helped crackdown on fraudulent tax discount claims and identify improper PPE contracts for termination, saving more than £138m.

Over £10m of disabled badge fraud was also picked up, as well as just under £7m in illegal housing benefit claims.

The Cabinet Office’s Debt Market Integrator (DMI) has streamlined departments’ access to debt collection services, reclaiming £373m worth of public funds which would not otherwise have been possible.

The Central Digital and Data Office, which advises departments on best practice for using digital and data services, helped cut £137m of digital spend.

As well as this, specialist buying teams drove more than £1bn of savings by ensuring departments pooled resources to buy goods and services.

Commenting, Minister for Government Efficiency, Jacob Rees-Mogg said:

“Taxpayers have the right to expect every penny of their money to be justified before it’s spent.

“These figures show quality need not be sacrificed to achieve better value for money and I want to accelerate the progress made.

“We are ensuring the Civil Service is delivering the government’s top priorities while ensuring the best possible value for taxpayers.”

The Declaration on Government Reform committed to additional transparency and supporting departments through a stronger cross-government network.

This has led to departments sharing data intelligently across their buying teams, pooling together resources and cutting costs for goods and services.

To cut costs further, departments will be required to set targets which measure their ability to achieve the highest standard of public service while reducing spend.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Simon Clarke added:

“The £3.4bn saved last year shows that we can get better results from the money we spend.

“We know we need to go further, the Chancellor’s new Cabinet level Efficiency and Value for Money Committee will leave no stone unturned as we investigate all government spending to make sure we are getting the most for the taxpayer.”

The publication of the savings was a key recommendation in Lord Maude’s review of the cross-cutting functions and the operation of spend controls.

PSE365 will be hosting a Public Sector Recruitment virtual event on 19 May, sign up here.

Creating a Legacy in Liverpool

PSE April/May 22

Creating a Legacy in Liverpool

Our April/May 2022 edition of PSE brings you expert comment and analysis on a range of key public sector topics, from finance and investment to environment and decarbonisation. Learn how the public sector can develop renewable energy projects, or read Mayor of Liverpool., Joanne Anderson’s plans to create a social value legacy in the city, alongside so much more…


View all videos
PSE365: Public Sector Decarbonisation Virtual Event

Be A Part Of It!

PSE365: Public Sector Decarbonisation Virtual Event | 17 March 2022

PSE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of public sector services. 

Over 365 days you’ll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

Magazine Feature

Keep communities at the heart of planning

Chris Borg, NALC policy manager

Chris Borg discusses the Planning for the Future white paper and explains the importance of residents and local councils having a say when it comes to planning

More articles...

View all