Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Efficiency (part 1 of ?)

If the parties really think that they are giving us the whole truth on issues such as “efficiency” savings they must have an extremely low opinion of the electorate.

Conservative leader Mr Cameron told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It is do-able, it is deliverable, I don’t think it’s particularly challenging to ask government to save £1 out of every £100 it spends.

He would not confirm how many fewer public sector jobs there would be under a Tory government, but he said: “It’s not talking about people losing their jobs, it’s talking about not filling vacancies as they arise.”

ref: Conservatives outline £12bn public sector savings plan bbc.co.uk 13:35 GMT, Friday, 9 April 2010 14:35 UK

So let’s test this:

  1. If the conservatives win, the posts of Prime Minister, Chancellor, Foreign Secretary etc. all become vacant – let’s not fill them!
  2. The practice manager at David Cameron’s GP Surgery moves on: leave the vacancy unfilled – I am sure that his GPs will happily taken on the extra work – it’s not as if they have “front line” work that they would rather be doing.

Protecting the front-line is always a fatuous argument.

Cut hospital administrators and inevitably front-line staff (that’s doctors and nurses) have to take up some of the load (filing records, attending meetings to manage hospitals) and some of the load is abandoned (like making sure external contractors are actually doing – cleaning catering etc. – what they should be doing).

Cut police administration and inevitably policemen spend less time on the beat as they spend more time ensuring that documentation necessary to ensure convictions and justice is properly processed.  Next they will be recruiting more back-room staff so that “bobbies spend more time on the beat”!

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