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Government: Expenditure

Volume 718: debated on Thursday 8 April 2010


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the breakdown of the £5 billion of savings from targeting and prioritising spending announced in the 2009 Pre-Budget Report to be achieved by 2012–13, detailing each item forecast to save more than £25 million. [HL3182]

The 2009 Pre-Budget Report announced £5 billion of savings by 2012-13, informed by the early findings of the Public Value Programme. These savings will be delivered through cutting lower value or lower priority spend. Budget 2010 announced further details of these savings, including:

reforming the criminal justice system and legal aid, saving £360 million in total: a rigorous process of setting benchmarks and costed service specifications for prisons and probation will save £40 million, with inefficient prisons put out to competition. Five competitions were launched in November. Further savings will be made by improving the management of cases through the system and making better use of the court estate. Twenty magistrates' courts will be closed in the first phase of this work. Reforms to legal aid will include means-testing for Crown Court cases from April 2010, and proposals to restructure the criminal legal aid market by consolidating the number of providers and increasing competition, as set out in Restructuring the Delivery of Criminal Defence Services;

improved targeting of housing growth and regeneration funding, saving £340 million: including £40 million by concluding the New Deal for Communities, and a further £300 million from rationalising regional development agency regeneration spending and programmes, including the Working Neighbourhoods Fund, the Local Enterprise Growth Initiative, and the Housing and Planning Delivery Grant;

reducing a range of budgets across the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), saving £350 million: for example, £25 million from the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA), £40 million from the Training and Development Agency, £71 million from the end of extended schools start-up funding and £10.5 million from central administration and communications budgets;

improving the concessionary travel scheme, saving £180 million: legislation has been laid to move responsibility for administering the scheme to county councils from April 2011 and to re-establish the link between eligibility for concessionary fares and the state pension from April 2010;

reforming or eliminating allowances that are no longer relevant for staff posted overseas: for example by ending the use of business class air travel for journeys lasting less than five hours, saving a total of £13 million; and

reducing unlawful occupation of social housing, saving at least £35 million in housing benefit costs; ending smaller Communities and Local Government (CLG) funded time-limited communities programmes, saving £25 million; and rationalising other smaller CLG programmes, saving a total of £160 million.