This is the phrase that prefaces the proposals on the Conservative Party website;
These are examples of specific savings that should be made in addition to the tens of billions of pounds of efficiency savings and productivity improvements that the Conservatives would deliver throughout the public sector over the next Parliament in order to reduce waste, deliver more for less, and protect frontline public services:
It has that uncertain element of 'it's government, it must be inefficient' to it. And, of course, there is an element of truth to that. However, there appears to be no question of why this is so. If there are tens of billions of efficiency savings and productivity improvements to be found, and it is so easy to do so, some of it would have happened by now. No government wants to spend vast amounts of money on waste and inefficiency, it wants to spend money on doing things.
Now I am no friend of this government. However, what I do know is that, since Labour gained power in 1997, I have personally experienced four major reorganisations, each one intended to achieve efficiency savings and productivity improvements. In HM Revenue & Customs, where I work, there have been a series of office closures, transfers of work away from the South East, the abolition of Regional offices, the introduction of mandatory e-filing of PAYE returns and, amongst all this, the loss of 20,000 staff. It is foolish to suggest that a concerted effort has not already been made to cut costs and improve efficiency.
The challenge therefore, for our Conservative friends, is to find out where further savings can be made through organisational and structural change. I would suggest that they would be better off trying to find things that Government need not do, as that's where the big savings are to be found.
Unfortunately, our blue friends are too busy trying to be loved to find time to talk about real cuts, about a rolling up of the State, about unshackling people from the nanny state. The debate about what the nation wants, what it needs and what it can afford is going to have to be started by someone else.
If Margaret Thatcher were dead, she'd be turning in her grave...
I'm no friend of Lady Thatcher, but at least you knew what she stood for.