Sunday, 16 May 2010

Wales needs to do efficiency savings!

We can argue as long as we like, and blame whoever we want about next year's block grant settlement to Wales but the truth of the matter is that there are likely to be cuts to the budget and 'whingeing' about it is not going to do anything to reduce its impact on 'front line services.' Note that at this point I separate out the difference between "protecting public sector jobs" and "protecting front line services". The SOLE purpose of public services is to provide support and assistance to the most vulnerable and needy. The role of the public sector IS NOT to retain expensive bureaucrats in non existent jobs as what has happened after the bonfire of the quangos in 2006 and latterly with the amalgamation of the twenty two Local Health Boards into seven trusts. These rationalisations should have realised massive efficiency savings by cutting out waste but they haven't

If the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board cut just 5% of its £1.1 BILLION budget it would realise £50 million in savings, this is a quarter of the £220 million that Plaid Cymru estimate the block grant will be cut by next year. The BCU Health Board is just the tip of the iceberg there are another 6 Health Boards which are likely to be just as wasteful not to mention the 22 Local Authorities.

As Brian Morgan says in his excellent article in the Western Mail recently,
"Is it not time we changed tack and accepted “the folly of pumping ever more government expenditure into unreformed public services”? We now need to step back and ask the fundamental question: is it not time we changed the way we do things in Wales?

There are other links to articles and blogs here and here

Irrespective of which party we support and which party is in government we should not be condoning waste and inefficiency and we should start addressing the problem NOW and not next April when the cuts come in.


The Druid of Anglesey said...

On this at least we agree.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Well there might even be a place within Plaid Cymru for you then!

Plaid Whitegate said...

"The SOLE purpose of public services is to provide support and assistance to the most vulnerable and needy."

While I agree with the sentiments about cutting waste from the top, the NHS and other public services provide valuable preventative services for all. In addition, many public services (e.g. bin collection, road maintenance, public transport) are available to all regardless of vulnerability or need.
Economic development and tax collection are two others off the top of my head - neither fit the strict definition above but are essential public services in my mind.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Perhaps the definition was too narrow but I was trying to make the distinction between protecting jobs and providing services and the fact that at the moment we are wasting millions of pounds employing people in the public sector for whom there are no jobs and if we are to continue to provide front line services then something has to give.