Magazine article Public Finance

Chancellor to Seek Advice on Cuts from 'Brightest and Best'

Magazine article Public Finance

Chancellor to Seek Advice on Cuts from 'Brightest and Best'

Article excerpt

The 'brightest and best' public sector experts will be placed on a Spending Review Challenge Group to propose innovative ways to cut costs, Chancellor George Osborne has told Parliament.

In a June 8 speech on his approach to this month's emergency Budget and the autumn Spending Review, the chancellor called for 'a complete re-evaluation of the government's role in providing public services', using both experts and the public.

The expert group would 'act as independent challengers and champions for departments'. Members would be drawn from government and outside it and might include 'the inspirational head teacher, the far-sighted police chief, the nurse with new ideas about solving age-old problems', the chancellor said.

Whitehall finance directors would have a 'strengthened role' to 'embed strong financial discipline at all levels of government', although Osborne gave no details of how this would work.

All departmental budgets will be reviewed by a 'star chamber' led by Osborne, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and other senior ministers. …

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