The UK government must consider the consequences of making ‘easy hit’ public sector cuts following last week’s autumn statement 2022.
Chris Hornung, managing director of public sector at field service management firm Totalmobile has warned of the potential damage from any cuts.
“It is critical the government carefully considers the true consequences of trimming down what might seem like ‘easy hits’ from public spending such as local government,” he said.
“Local government offices run housing, health and welfare services that are invaluable as members of the public across the UK find their costs rising beyond anything experienced for forty years. Cuts here would have huge ramifications for other public sector organisations, for example, the NHS. Right now as many a third of patients who are currently healthy enough to be discharged from hospital can’t be due to a chronic lack of social care.
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On the budget, Hornung said: “[Chancellor] Jeremy Hunt says his priorities are public services and protecting the vulnerable. The significant additional funding announced for the NHS and social care over the next two years is a good start. However, Hunt goes on to say that the NHS must tackle waste.
“It would have been good to see broader support for public sector and public sector pay. Local government offices that run housing, health, and welfare services are invaluable as members of the public across the UK struggle with the cost of living and inflation. Capping social rents is a good start, but how about the rising cost of providing those services?”
Hornung added that public sector leaders need to rethink day-to-day operations to deliver more with less. This is likely to entail creating more coordinated services, adopting a more holistic approach to workflows, and fast track adoption of modern technologies to help streamline services.
Totalmobile advises NHS trusts like Barnet, Enfield and Haringey, as well as local government organisations like South Lanarkshire Council, Sheffield City Council and East Renfrewshire Council.