Magazine article Public Finance

MP: Pay Heed to Tracker Warning

Magazine article Public Finance

MP: Pay Heed to Tracker Warning

Article excerpt

The UK government has failed to plan for spending in the long term and identify "efficiencies" before hitting "crisis points", the chair of the Treasury select committee has said, endorsing the findings of the second Performance Tracker report.

Speaking at the report's launch on 19 October, Nicky Morgan agreed "the Treasury could have analysed further efficiencies in some public services instead of waiting for potential crisis points".

She said: "The conclusion that irrespective of the economic weather this reactive approach is misconceived is a really good ... and very useful conclusion, and a good challenge for Whitehall."

The report, produced jointly by CIPFA and the Institute for Government, found the government would be spending ?iobn over five years to 2019-20 "just to keep troubled services going".

The tracker, which examined 100 data sets from nine public services, found the government was "trapped in a reactive spending cycle on public services" and warned any "good decisions" made by the chancellor in the autumn Budget "would not solve the underlying problems".

The Treasury needed to improve how it made spending decisions, the report said, and bring in a framework so the balance between funding, quality and efficiency could be assessed. …

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