Government Consults Public Over Spending Review

Chancellor George Osborne has launched a website which asks voters to recommend where spending cuts can be made.

The Chancellor’s recent Budget requires an average 25 per cent cut in spending for most government departments and the public is being charged with identifying areas where savings can be made in a fair and responsible manner.

Voters are being asked to post ideas about how the government can save money, enhance public services and improve customer service on the Spending Challenge site and the Democracy UK page on Facebook.

Comments and suggestions made on the Spending Challenge site will shape seminars hosted by government ministers who will be travelling the country to experience opinions and ideas first hand.

Mr Osborne said: “Tell us – where’s the waste, what should we cut? What can we improve, what’s working really well that we should do more of?

“You pay your taxes, you use the public services, tell us how we can improve them and make sure we get better value for money.”

Civil servants have already produced more than 50,000 money saving proposals as part of a performance improvement consultancy with some of the suggestions being published on the Treasury site.

The high response rate from the civil servants has persuaded government ministers to roll out the scheme to the public as there has been a demonstrable demand for such initiatives.

Prime Minister David Cameron told civil servants at a conference that there will be increased ‘people power’ as voters will have more input in relation to how public services are run.

He said: “If you want to make our public services more transparent, open them up to make them more diverse, to give people more power and control, you can be confident it will get the green light.”

The best ideas from the Spending Challenge will be included in the Treasury’s Spending Review Framework, which will include four year spending plans for all government departments.

The Spending Challenge follows the launch of the government’s Your Freedom site, which allows people to suggest how they would reduce bureaucracy.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “For too long new laws have taken away your freedom, interfered in everyday life and made it difficult for businesses to get on.”

The Your Freedom site offers three categories in which users can express their opinions including restoring civil liberties, repealing unnecessary laws and cutting business and third sector regulations.

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