On 2 October 2018
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- The Reformer Blog
4 October 2018
Spending Reviews present a great opportunity for the UK to ‘reset’ its policies on public spending and public services, with a view to achieving radical and far reaching reform. What will it take for the 2019 Spending Review to help underpin a renewed and reinvigorated public service ready to take the country beyond Brexit?
Every government starts with the best of intentions. Agreeing budgets several years ahead makes it possible to innovate, improve outcomes, produce savings (by avoiding crime, unemployment, poor health and so on), and improve customer experience for citizens. The reality can be an unedifying competition between Whitehall departments for resource which results in a public fiscal bunfight, reducing the likelihood of substantive and transformative change.
At this year’s Conservative Party Conference, PwC and Reform convened a roundtable to discuss the forthcoming Spending Review. Oliver Dowden, Parliamentary Secretary (Minister for Implementation) at the Cabinet Office joined a diverse group of public service providers and thinkers. Here are 5 ideas that emerged from the session which could create a truly transformative Spending Review:
Redressing the deficit has been the key theme for previous Spending Reviews this decade and while the fiscal environment remains challenging, it’s not yet clear what story this Spending Review will have to tell – and how the narrative will unfold. What we took from our roundtable, in a policy agenda dominated by Brexit, is that the will is there for far reaching public service reform, capitalising intelligently on the opportunities presented by rapidly emerging and developing technology. The 2019 Spending Review is a valuable opportunity to take this agenda forward.
Rachel is an Assurance Partner at PwC. She is part of PwC’s Government leadership team, where she leads on PwC’s work with a range of government departments including DWP, HM Treasury and BEIS.
Daniel is a Partner in PwC’s Strategy& team and leads PwC’s strategy and policy development work for central government.