Let me repeat a few old truths, and add a few new examples. I detect a new mood in the public and the media. Many people know public money is being wasted on undesirable schemes, on inefficiencies, poor quality, and on marginal projects. Unlike their government, most votes know this cannot go on on the current scale.
There are some obvious areas of spending to remove.
1.Begin by abolishing the whole ID cards scheme.
2.Stop the centralising computer contracts that have been so badly managed.
3.Abolish unelected regional government in England.
4.Abolish the targets and circulars bureaucracies that ensnare local goverment.
5.Have a couple of years off from legislating more regulation
6.Put through a repeal act, cutting out less desirable or ineffective regulation, so fewer regulators can concentrate on the things that matter.
7. Sell off parts of the banks to cut risk and raise cash
8. Stop all free newsheets and PR materials from government departments for a year
9. Cut the number of Ministers by 10%, reallocating responsibilities to raise their productivity.
10. Cancel all Ministerial and senior official fact finding and non essential visits abroad.
There are some general spending disciplines that need to be introduced into every government department and quango.
1. Place a freeze on all outside recruitment, save in front line roles like teachers, nurses, doctors and service personnel. Seek to appoint from within, and reduce the number of administrative posts each time someone leaves.
2. Place a freeze on new outside consultancy contracts, requiring a senior Minister to consider the case for such work and to sign off on it in exceptional cases where in house staff cannot manage the task.
3. Review all procurement, with a view to buying better.
4. Run down in house stocks which are often large and badly managed. Go over to something closer to a just in time principle for supply.
5. Close all public sector pension schemes to new staff and set up defined contribution schemes instead.
6. Set cost down targets for every sub department and quango.
7. Review corporate plans of all quangos at Ministerial level with a view to identifying substantial cost savings
8. Raise quality targets. Error rates in government are very high, leading to too many expensive complaints and to the need to do things twice.
9. Rationalise building use, shedding surplus space as the staff reductions from natural wastage kick in.
10. Rationalise transport use, which at the moment is wasteful and often not co-ordinated between users.