Obviously most will say; it all depends on how it directly affects the individual. Isn’t this one of the single most important contributory factors to why the spending shit hit the fiscal fan in the first place?
Public sector finances have been mismanaged for years by egotistical, self-centred and self-important managers with individualistic agenda methodologies. They have also allowed swathes of their workforce to underperform, whilst regularly dipping into the perks and allowances pots. We have also been in a situation whereby less than 25% of public sector managers have been less than 16% productive during their working day for so long.
That’s just the major failings in the public sector, add to this the scandal of the inefficiencies in the benefits and revenue systems, along with a predominant social acceptance that its OK to sponge from the state, as opposed to grafting for a living, and you should start to see it’s no wonder something had to give!
One of my favourite bloggers argues that; today’s cuts are just very old economics and there is nothing radical in their actions or intentions. In a way I have to agree but don’t we have to start somewhere to try to fix our public spending mess? Isn’t there a need to adjust the way public sectors manage, even if that means cutting off some of their ‘income’ to force their hand? The only problem is (as usual), it will probably take more than simply restricting their cashflow. Many actually need a sound thrashing with a big stick, a few redundancies at the higher end of the public sector wouldn’t go amiss!
As many will know, my main area of interest are the issues surrounding British policing…
BBC News – Osborne unveils spending review: Home Office – Annual budget: £10.2bn – Osborne Outcome: Overall budget to fall 6% a year – What’s being cut?: Police budgets to be cut 4% a year. Aim to maintain “visibility and availability” of officers on beat. (Read more)
On the face of it, the 4% per annum reduction proposal isn’t that savage. At least not as severe as ACPO and the Association of Police Authorities (APA) were initially expecting. My main worry is; how they actually turn those ‘savings’ into a reality.
Ever since the austerity measures were first mooted, leaders within the police service (and its governance) have simply threatened cuts to service delivery and/or a reduction of frontline posts. They have consistently fought shy of; justifying the top-heavy and bloated management structure and, they have thus far, failed to realistically address the disgusting levels of administrative functions. The exact areas that blight the service and have a negative impact upon police officers providing the service which the public crave.
Most forces in my region have already started making reductions; Cleveland Police have outsourced several functions, Durham Constabulary issued redundancy notices to a large proportion of their staff a couple of months ago and even this week, the Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police has sent out voluntary redundancy proposals to all the support staff. There are however some sensible moves afoot.
The much talked about Northumbria Police and Durham Constabulary merger may have been (temporarily) demoted to a back burner however, I bet it won’t be too long before the heat is turned back up to full blast again soon! It’s also not beyond the realm of possibility for the (so far) voluntary Yorkshire collaboration process to expand and become more formal. I can but wait with bated breath but watch this space!
I can’t help thinking that much of the public doom and gloom thinking is grossly over fuelled by the media and their overtly emotive reporting methodology. Will the budgetary considerations proposed today make for a better police service? Only if the government fiercely oversees ACPO and gives them a regular slap to keep them in line!
- “Osborne to unveil Comprehensive Spending Review today” and related posts (financemarkets.co.uk)
- Spending Review: Police And Welfare Budgets Slashed (news.sky.com)
- Osborne to Slash Jobs, Tax Banks in U.K. Budget Cuts (businessweek.com)
- Britain slashes public sector, welfare (financialpost.com)