Headlines: September 13th, 2010

Three cost-cutting ideas suggested by public sector workers and members of the public are to be put into effect by the Government. They are the first to be introduced since the launch of the Spending Challenge website which asked for ways to help tackle the budget deficit.

The Chancellor, George Osborne, said the selected ideas were examples of common sense suggestions to make savings for the taxpayer and to help rebalance the country’s economy. So far more than 100,000 ideas had been submitted through the website with more than 63,000 of them coming from public sector employees.

The three ideas which are to become part of Government policy are a reduction in the number of criminal record checks for junior doctors, which it is estimated will save the NHS up to a million pounds a year; distributing National Insurance numbers by letter only and not using plastic cards, saving a further million and selling more surplus and second hand Government equipment by expanding the use of the Ministry of Defence’s eDisposals service across all Government departments.

Mr. Osborne said: “These are the people’s ideas. Over 100,000 suggestions have been put to us and now we’re starting to put some of them into practice. In doing so, we are directly tapping the experience of those working in the frontline of public services instead of assuming ministers in Whitehall have all the answers.”He acknowledged that no single idea would solve the problems faced by the Government but said the suggestions could make a real contribution. Other ideas are being considered by the relevant Government departments and may be introduced as part of the Spending Review this autumn.