Government saves the taxpayer £18.6bn in 2014/2015

Expensive consultants, ink cartridges , employees, pensions - they all add up

The government claims to have saved a cool £1.7bn across its digital estate, part of wider cost cutting programme.

The reforms, which were introduced by the coalition, resulted in total savings of £18.6bn in the year to 31 March 2015, according to an internal audit report from the Cabinet Office.

“The government is determined to make every taxpayer penny count,” said the report. “For example, Cabinet Office is working to help departments reduce reliance on everything from expensive consultants to print cartridges.”

The lion’s share of savings came through what the government called ‘commercial’ improvements.

“We have saved £6.1 billion by improving how government buys goods and services,” the report said. “This includes managing contracts more effectively, limiting spending on agency staff, and continuing to control advertising, communication and marketing spending.”

Almost a third of the savings were attributed to staff cuts and pension reforms – with 86,000 jobs being cut since 2010.

Whitehall skimmed another £4.6bn by addressing inefficiencies in construction and reducing costs in major projects.

The Government Digital Service (GDS) provided a total of £599m of savings through transformation and the implementation of controls.

The government said that the creation of the Public Services Network (PSN) saved £103m, while clamping down on departmental digital and technology projects saved £391m.

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