Magazine article Public Finance

Central Targets for Services Will Continue, Says Hutton

Magazine article Public Finance

Central Targets for Services Will Continue, Says Hutton

Article excerpt

John Hutton, the government minister for public service reform, last week vowed that central targets would continue, despite mounting criticism from local councils and think-tanks such as the Social Market Foundation.

Speaking at the launch of an SMF report on targets, Hutton said that targets were an essential part of democracy, which gave citizens the 'means to judge whether services were improving or not and whether providers of these services were responding properly to the needs of their customers and consumers'.

Local Government Association chair Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart said at the launch that the imposition of central targets eroded local accountability.

Hutton dismissed Lockhart s criticism as 'absolute bunkum. He said lhat those who call for central targets to be scrapped 'betray a total lack of confidence in public services and their ability to offer more responsive, personalised services'. …

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