This has been the most collaborative Spending Review ever with an extended period of engagement over the summer between Government, experts, the public sector and the general public. This was called the Spending Challenge, and was an opportunity to shape the way Government works and share ideas to cut the deficit and eliminate waste.
We would like to thank everyone who responded and submitted their ideas. We had a great response: over 100,000 ideas were submitted including more than 63,000 from the public sector. Alongside this, Ministers have been getting out and about across the country to hear your ideas and opinions first hand. The Treasury has received several thousand pieces of direct correspondence and the Chancellor and Chief Secretary have held a wide range of meetings with experts on specific areas of Government policy – such as health, housing and education.
The best ideas were then examined by Departments and at the Spending Review, the Chancellor set out a number of specific ideas that will now be taken forward as policy. Each of these ideas will save money and help reduce the deficit, proving that ideas from individuals can and do make a difference.They include:
- no longer requiring Primary Care Trusts (PCT) to deliver hard copies of Your Guide to NHS Services to every household, saving up to £2.5m per year;
- stopping sending weekly letters to confirm that the Back to Work Credits or training premiums have been paid, saving up to £3m a year; and
- significantly driving down the costs of in-house Government publications, saving at least £0.5m this year and a further £0.25 million per year in future.
Ideas submitted to the Spending Challenge also helped to influence, and are reflected in, other Spending Review decisions including:
- reforming the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) grant and child benefit. The Spending Review removes child benefit from households with a higher rate taxpayer and replaces EMAs with locally-managed discretionary funds to target support;
- spending money more effectively by introducing a more preventative focus across public services. In health, the Government will ring fence funding for a Public Health Service to improve the health of the whole population and particularly pockets of ill-health and health inequalities;
- building closer links across health and social care. The Government will aim to break down the barriers between health and social care funding through new approaches, including re-ablement services provided by the NHS and
- minimising tax fraud, evasion and avoidance. The Spending Review allocates over £900 million to combat tax fraud, avoidance and evasion, raising an estimated £7billion of extra tax revenue by 2014.
Find out more about how the Spending Challenge worked and how the original suggestions you made were developed into policy announcements
What happens next?
Other ideas received through the Spending Challenge will continue to play an important role in delivering more for less over the Spending Review period. Departments will continue to review ideas to identify and implement those that could help deliver further efficiencies.
So that you can review the suggestions that were made to the Spending Challenge, we are publishing a summary of the policy proposals submitted by the public sector many of which continue to be reviewed by Departments.
In the interests of transparency, we plan to publish all of the original suggestions that met our moderation policy as soon as possible. These will be available as a data set on data.gov.uk. We hope that web developers will find new ways of interpreting the information we received to feed into this ongoing process.