How to cut government spending

Subsidies were cut, particularly for transport and agriculture, and many of the activities of government departments were scrapped, pared back or transferred to the private sector.

That\’s how the Canadians did it.

You cut the number of things government does. Simply scrap whole swathes of activities.

BERR, EU contributions, ID cards, regional assemblies, regional development funds, make your own list, but it\’s easy enough to pull £30-£50 billion out of the £650 billion they\’re spending.

6 thoughts on “How to cut government spending”

  1. And that’s just the start of it. Once you’ve cut the number of things Government actually does, you do a complete review of how it does the remaining things. Personally I believe savings of 10-20% can be made, simply by cutting the breacracy behind service delivery. That’s another 60 to 120 billion.

  2. Amen. If the government imposes cash limits with (say ) a 10% cut, it will cut 10% of everything, thats 10% of highway maintenance, 10% off defence, 10% of equality advisors, etc.etc. Then when the government starts attending to other problems all these functions will be restored more or less to their former size. We’ve already been through this during and after Mrs. T’s cash limits.
    We need the elected government to decide what functions are cut, what is and is not worth paying for, not Sir Humphrey. And if we’ve decided that such and such isn’t worth paying for, we don’t want to worry about its resurrection.
    Plus its a better idea to piss off a minority of civil servants and simultaneously render them powerless, than it is to piss off all of them and leave them with power.

  3. There are two distinct methods to cutting, and both must be used; for we need to maximise the cost reductions.

    1) find things to stop doing.

    2) find ways to do the things you still want to do more cheaply.

    The first is a question of politics – politicians do too much, because there are votes in doing things and jobs for their mates.

    The second is a question of management skills, which politicians mistake for target setting. John Seddon has proven methods to reduce costs and improve service. http://www.thesystemsthinkingreview.co.uk/

  4. Ah, agriculture subsidies. Years ago, New Zeland stopped subsidies to its dairy industry. I believe some producers did indeed go out of business but the survivors thrived. It’s still a strong industry.

    As opposed to ours.

  5. The other thing that needs to be done is to allow us (the private sector) to do things that the government traditionally reserves for itself. Like building roads, educating children, providing health, collecting taxes, distributing benefits, providing rented accommodation. This does not only mean removing legal barriers to doing these things, but also making the government a ‘good competitor’ rather than one that gives away its products.

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