Efficiency savings: in recent years there has been a concerted drive to reduce the costs in commodities like electricity, to professionalise property management and to make more use of shared services. Here there is a question about control – how far should control be centralised or devolved
to best make efficiency savings. Striking the right balance is difficult, but
possible, as the Institute’s recent work on IT makes clear. The second question is about how such savings translate into cash coming out of the system – to be credible it must be clear which budgets have been reduced in anticipation of these savings, and therefore which ones have to make up any shortfall should the projected efficiencies not be realised.
Source: Undertaking a fiscal consolidation: A guide to action. Institute for Government
Mark Robsinson reviews the report;
Politics are also the reason why the real tough work required for a successful fiscal consolidation usually takes within the first two budgets after a change of government. If this doesn’t happen, the sense of urgency amongst voters dissipates. Political support for consolidation falls away rapidly, with the electorate falling prey to what the London-based Institute for Government calls – in its interesting recent report Undertaking a Fiscal Consolidation – “consolidation fatigue”.