Director of CBI Wales David Rosser outlines the importance of public sector expenditure on the economy and the challenges to ensure its spending has the maximum positive economic impact
THE recent announcement in Westminster of the Chancellor's spending plans has focused attention once again on how to drive efficiencies in public spending.
If we're spending more money than ever on our public services, we must be confident that every pound we invest is being used in the most effective way possible.
This is an issue as much for business, which since 1997 has paid pounds 40bn of extra taxes, as it is for the rest of us when we read our monthly payslips.
Government at all levels has a dual duty, both to the taxpayer and to the consumer of public services. It's not an easy balancing act, but we must put in place the culture of improving efficiency and effectiveness in public expenditure in Wales.
Job preservation in the public sector cannot be allowed to become a policy objective. Squeezing the maximum out of each tax pound is the priority.
In our view, there are two key ways in which Wales can improve efficiency and effectiveness - evaluation and procurement.
The starting point for robust evaluation should be that any spending programme not achieving its expected outcomes or delivering value for money should be ceased.
Government should be able to innovate in service delivery, needs to have the courage to call a halt if outcomes aren't achieved, and the public and opposition politicians need to recognise that getting things wrong occasionally is an inevitable consequence of trying …