I think this is what is needed. While more must be cut, at least the Liberal Democrats are willing to set out what they think should be abolished. The Conservatives make small suggestions, but they should be more open. People aren’t opposed to cuts in administration, but want to protect frontline services. The only way to do that is for politicians to take the lead, rather than leaving it up to civil servants, who will invariably protect themselves (at the expense of frontline services):
â€¢ Zero growth overall for public sector pay (saving Â£2.4bn a year), a 25% reduction in the total pay bill of staff earning over Â£100,000 and a salary freeze and end of bonuses for the civil service (saving Â£200m a year).
â€¢ Tapering the family element of the tax credit â€“ saving Â£1.35bn.
â€¢ A radical review of public sector pensions with the view to moving to higher employee contributions and later retirement ages. There is currently a Â£28bn subsidy to unfunded schemes.
â€¢ Scrapping several major IT systems including the ID card scheme (Â£5bn over 10 years), Contactpoint (Â£200m over five years), the NHS IT scheme (Â£250m over the next five years) and the proposed “super database” (Â£6bn).
â€¢ Curbing “industrial policy”, including scrapping regional development agencies (Â£2.3bn annually) and reducing by at least half the Train to Gain and skills councils budgets (Â£990m together a year).
â€¢ Reforming the National Health Service by reducing centralisation and over-administration, starting by scrapping strategic health authorities (Â£200m a year), by strengthening commissioning and with “supply side reform”, in particular tariff reform, could save around Â£2bn a year.
â€¢ Curbing centralisation in education by cutting national strategies and scrapping quangos â€“ saving around Â£600m a year.
â€¢ Reducing the amount of waste in the defence procurement process, including scrapping the Eurofighter and Tranche 3 (Â£5bn over six years), the A400M (total cost Â£22bn), Nimrod MRA4, the Defence Training Review contract (Â£13bn over 25 years) and the Trident submarine successor (Â£70bn over 25 years).
â€¢ Examining possible future public sector asset sales, including some aspects of the Highways Agency (land value of Â£80bn) and intangibles such as spectrum, landing rights and emissions trading.
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