How Public Services Fail to Give Value for Money

Daily Mail (London), November 4, 2009 | Go to article overview

How Public Services Fail to Give Value for Money


Byline: Steve Doughty Social Affairs Correspondent 'Taps were turned on'

TAXPAYERS are getting less value for money from public services, an official investigation said yesterday.

It found costs have been shooting up at a faster rate than prices in the wider economy.

State services like health care and education went up by 13.7 per cent above general inflation during Labour's first ten years in power.

This was because state employees were enjoying higher pay while doing less work, according to the report from the Office for National Statistics.

Spending on the NHS more than doubled, while more than half a million more workers were taken on and their pay soared ahead of their counterparts in the private sector.

Earlier this year the ONS published estimates showing how public employees worked less hard in the ten years after 1997, while productivity fell by around 3.4 per cent.

Yesterday's report concluded that the cost of public services went up by 13.7 per cent above inflation.

The cost of wages and goods bought by the public sector accounted for most of the rise - increasing by 10 per cent more than these costs rose in the rest of the economy.

Only one service actually held its value for money under Labour. Despite sending troops to fight in three major wars, the defence budget rose in line with inflation.

However, the NHS and education, which between them account for around half of all public spending, swallowed up increasing amounts from the public purse.

The cost of paying Health Service workers, including pensions, went up by 72.6 per cent, compared to a 55.7 per cent in the economy as a whole. …

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