The government had a good proposal to cut its administrative overhead by 30% over the 5 years. The latest figures show they seem to have done this already.
Certainly the Health,transport and Communities departments report a fall of around 30% in their overhead costs. The overall figures are greatly helped by large declines at Treasury and Work and pensions. A footnote tells us that some of their activity has been reclassified from overhead to service expenditure, so we cannot see how well they – or the overall government- has done. The largest government overheads are obviously at DWP and Treasury, where they have armies of people collecting the money in and giving it out again.
Within the list the 261% increase last year compared to 2009-10 at Culture Media and Sport is understandable for the Olympics. Presumably this will collapse next year. The increase of 51% at Justice is less understandable. The small falls in the non English departments, at the Cabinet Office , Education,. Business and defence are also important to question.
It is also interesting to note that expenditure on total pay has risen in cash terms since 2009-10, despite these cuts. It appears that the governmetn has spent a lot on redundancies, but has also put salaries up and has recruited some replacements, so the overall savings have been less than simply following a natural wastage policy.