The architect of a UK government cost-cutting drive that includes renegotiation of deals with drug suppliers has insisted it has been broadly successful – despite many critics claiming someof the savings were a “sham”.
Sir Peter Gershon said he was “proud” that his public-sector efficiencyplans had delivered “real benefits” for thetaxpayer.
But he did accept that there was still far more scope for eradicating waste in Civil Service and central government spending.
Sir Peter – who launched measures to save some £23bn over three years in 2004 – said: “I think you have to see what has happened over the past three years as part of a much larger plan to tackle the efficiency of the public sector, which has been emphasised by the tightening public finances situation, which is always a good set of circumstances to cause Government to look carefully at efficiency.”
He highlighted the renegotiation of the NHS’s deals with pharmaceutical suppliers as a move which had saved the public purse £1.2bn over three years.
“That is non-negligible and that is a real benefit to the taxpayer and everyone,” he added.
Copyright © PA Business 2008