The International Monetary Fund called for a one-year austerity holiday, while the OECD, the Paris-based think-tank urged the Chancellor to review plans to ring-fence large parts of public spending, including health, education, pensions, and aid.
The chancellor plans to save money by using integrated computer technology and IT schemes to save money across departments. George Osborne promised that he can get 25% of the savings through savings in various ministries across Whitehall.
The intervention came as the OECD completed its half yearly health check on the global economy, in which it slashed eurozone growth and trimmed the UK a little. Jørgen Elmeskov, the OECD’s deputy chief economist, said: “We are perhaps somewhat doubtful to the idea of ring-fencing certain spending areas. That tends to lead to deeper cuts in other areas which may not be warranted.
“You may or may not want to cut down less on health than on other areas, but that should be a result of an assessment of the costs and benefits of doing it, not because you carve out health and thereby impose bigger adjustment on other expenditure items.” His comments followed news that George Osborne had still to secure agreements on £8 billion of a planned £11.5 billion of savings from unprotected departments. He faces an uphill struggle with departments such as defence and transport.
Pressure to rethink the balance of austerity came as the OECD said Britain would grow 0.8% this year and 1.5% in 2014 – a 0.1% downgrade in both years. The lower growth reflected “strong headwinds” to the economy from the “muted global recovery, especially in Europe”, and on-going efforts by both households and the Government to get their debts under control.
Growth could be helped by shifting more spending to infrastructure, it recommended. But it stopped short of calling for a debt-fuelled investment program, as the IMF suggested earlier this month. “The pace of fiscal consolidation of about 1% of GDP per year in both 2013 and 2014 is appropriate,” the OECD said in its report. (telegraph.co.uk)
The United Kingdom’s finance minister known as the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has been told to have a one year austerity holiday. Osborne is trying find savings from various departments, IT integration is one possible tool.
The international monetary fund (IMF) has told the United Kingdom’s Osborne to relax austerity the OECD based in Paris, France has advised the Chancellor to look at the ring-fence of the NHS which has numerous Information technology platforms, and find savings.
The European Union has placed restrictions on the maximum hours that doctors in the UK’s National Health service can work at 48 hours. The budget for NHS was spared rfom cuts and has grown with the rate of inflation. Duplication of the government service including IT platforms maybe potential avenues of savings.