Government asks social workers how it can deliver ‘improved services with less money’

A survey distributed among public sector workers called for money-saving ideas to be considered as part of the 2015 spending review

George Osborne
Chancellor George Osborne. Photo: Nils Jorgensen/Rex Features

Chancellor George Osborne is asking social workers and other public sector employees for their ideas on ways to save money.

A survey, published on behalf of George Osborne and chief secretary to the Treasury, Greg Hands, said: “To inform the review, the government wants to hear directly from public sector workers how we can deliver improved public services with less money.

Efficiency

“This survey is your opportunity to tell central government where the waste is and your ideas for how things could be done better or more efficiently.”

The email and survey, circulated among representative bodies and civil servants, invited public sector workers to submit their ideas to be considered as part of the 2015 spending review.

‘Unfair’

Unison hit back at the survey as “unfair”, but general secretary Dave Prentis nevertheless urged members to respond to the request.

He said: “The cuts to public spending have put services under a huge strain and it is thanks to hardworking staff that services are still running. As a result many now have to put in extra hours and work more for less.

“Instead of acknowledging this extra effort, the government announced four more years of pay freezes and is now asking workers to find ways to cut budgets even more.”

Procurement specialists

He added that government had made procurement specialists—people whose job it is to find ways to reduce costs—redundant.

In an email sent to members, Prentis suggested  cutting the use of agency staff, stopping reorganising public services and ending privatisation as ways to make savings.

Any ideas submitted will be reviewed by a cross-government team which will then decide on those to be developed. The survey closes on Friday 4 September.

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3 Responses to Government asks social workers how it can deliver ‘improved services with less money’

  1. Fred August 12, 2015 at 10:50 am #

    One excellent idea would be for the Government to abolish bloated inspection agencies and of course the truly terrible HCPC leaving more money front line services.

    Another would be to reverse all the recent redistribution budget measures (from poor to rich) as this would undoubtedly reduce the demand for services (the link between social need and poverty has long since been established).

  2. Glenys Turner August 12, 2015 at 1:30 pm #

    Outrageous! I’m speechless!

  3. Jim Greer August 12, 2015 at 10:34 pm #

    Actually huge savings could be made by giving social workers good quality IT equipment such as smartphones and tablets which allows them to update casenotes and enter data into forms and reports on the move and in real time. It needs to be fully networked and staff need to be able to access databases and records remotely. There are security concerns but these are not insurmountable. I have worked in a paperless environment for some time as a project manager and a lecturer and I consider that good equipment has improved my productivity by somewhere between 50 and 100%.