“Spending Challenge” Ideas Muster Here

June 25, 2010 at 9:42 pm

The Treasury has just launched a website yesterday (how’s that Government website culling going? Not so well, apparently) where civil servants can submit ideas about how to save cash. The plan is that the site will be opened up to the general public on 8th July.

The Spending Challenge is your chance to shape the way government works, and help us get more for less as we try to bring down the deficit. It’s open initially to people who work in our public sector.

This week’s Budget set out a 25 per cent cut in spending for most departments over four years. Now, we want you to help us find those savings so we can cut public spending in a way that is fair and responsible. You work on the frontline of public services. You know where things are working well, where the waste is, and where we can re-think things so that we get better services for less money.

The action list is robust and impressive:

  1. All ideas considered by cross-government team
  2. Serious ideas go to ‘champions’ team in Cabinet Office/Treasury
  3. Most promising ideas sent to departments and Treasury spending teams to be worked up
  4. Selected ideas reviewed by Ministers
  5. Spending Review announced October 20th

This means that your perfectly sensible idea to stop giving money to African dictators or countries with their own space program will get ditched at (1) but suggestions to power the UK using carbon-free unicorn farts are guaranteed at least stage (4).

To get an idea of the drivel on there, consider today’s “update”:

Day two in the Big Brother house of Spending Challenge and your ideas are still coming in thick and fast, which is fantastic. One of the themes that’s been developing from the many comments we’ve received so far is how we can best use recycling techniques to save money and help to save the environment as well.

Oh, good grief. TheEye only skimmed the rest of it…an idea to make notes on waste paper rather than notepads was typical…before giving up and sobbing quietly. Turning off monitors is all very well, but TheEye wants two new aircraft carriers and that just won’t cut the financial mustard.

So TheEye has just claimed to be working at a senior level for Business Secretary St Vince and suggested that the department is a pointless self serving ego-trip, and forget the cuts already announced – close us down.

If it happens, the conspiracy began here.