Book News: July 1st, 2010

This report from KPMG claims that if public sector productivity growth in the last decade had kept pace with productivity growth in the private sector, the UK could have received the same quality and quantity of public service for £60 billion less per year.

The report identifies seven critical issues in the way public services in the UK are currently provided and goes on to suggest how to change the system by incentivising providers to offer public services in a more cost effective and efficient manner.

It argues that the key to UK public sector reform does not lie in debating the levels of spending or pondering how to achieve more efficiency savings. The real issue is about shifting control from providers to their customers and from bureaucrats to enterprising professionals. This approach would allow the debate to move on from how much money is spent on a service and how savings can be made from slashing frontline output.

The report presents a different way of doing things with a strategy that offers the chance to fundamentally change what is achieved out of spending on public services. It sets out principles that would allow politicians to decide on what they want to fund and achieve (the results), it would set competitive prices for those results (the funding) and give suppliers the freedom to make the changes to deliver the results for the prices on offer.

The report is available from KPMG.