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Action needed – Public sector

  • All governments must cut their cloth to what their public can afford – basic guidelines for their actions should be:

    • Ration services to only those the public deem to be essential

    • Target sector-wide improvements of 20% or more, not 1 to 2%

    • Focus on less waste before less service

  • Invest more to improve ‘core’ infrastructure, skills and R&D efforts:

    • Borrowing costs and interest rates are at all-time lows

    • Major long term benefits to an economy of new railways/ motorways/ airports, removal of bottlenecks and faster broadband everywhere are on offer

  • Localise power and increase service unit management accountability:

    • Let local communities set priority targets for the public services they bother most about such as local hospitals, schools and police forces – collect and publicise their views about the quality of services received on official websites – hold regular meetings between all parties to review performance levels achieved

    • Leave local service unit managers to manage their resources in their own way – stop central micro-meddling – accept that some managers will fail but most are likely to perform much better because motivation levels will increase, customers will benefit and costs will fall

  • Employ much more digital technology, faster, to transform the way essential government services are offered to the public – the Policy Exchange think tank says: “A switch from paper to on-line applications for all UK public services could save £70 billion from a reduction in staff needs and better procurement deals”

 

  • Keep primary and secondary schools open much longer and get much more use out of existing costly resources – keep kids there from say 0830 to 1700, say, not for more lessons but more extra-curricular activities such as sports, arts, music etc. – this would be more enjoyable for the kids, keep them off the streets where they can be tempted to do no good, save their parents enormous child-care costs and release many highly qualified parents back into the labour-force – all for the cost of employing a few more teacher-assistants, many of whom could be recent school-leavers needing work experience

 

  • Review public sector employment packages – they should be less than those offered by the private sector:

    • According to the Sunday Times: “Most UK public sector workers are better paid, have more holidays, work fewer hours, have more days off sick, are less likely to be sacked, retire younger and have better pensions than their counterparts in the private sector”

    • This is unfair and demoralising for private sector workers

    • Nor is it good for the nation which depends on them for the creation of more wealth

 

 

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