News story

Government saves £18.6 billion for hard working taxpayers in 2014 to 2015

The government made savings of £18.6 billion in 2014 to 2015 against a 2009 to 2010 baseline.

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The government has saved £18.6 billion through efficiency and reform, and tackling fraud, error and uncollected debt in the last financial year. This is a 30% increase on the financial year 2013 to 2014 figure of £14.3 billion, and 25% on a like for like basis. The Cabinet Office has supported government departments to make these savings.

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

Savings include:

Commercial

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

For example, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency identified a number of new opportunities to negotiate and find savings in its IT contract. It saved over £30 million this year, and £57 million in total over the term of the contract.

Transformation

We have saved £1.5 billion by transforming how government works. This includes better managing government property and selling empty buildings, putting services and transactions online, preventing wasteful IT spend and introducing new ways of providing government services.

For example, the Government Property Unit arranged for the Department for Communities and Local Government to move and share space with the Home Office at 2 Marsham Street in Westminster. This generated savings of £23 million a year.

Projects

We have saved £4.6 billion by addressing waste and inefficiency in construction and reducing costs in major projects.

Workforce reform

We have saved £5.8 billion by reducing the size of the civil service and reforming civil service pensions.

Fraud, error and debt

We have saved £0.67 billion through the Fraud Error and Debt Taskforce which tackles fraud and error and improves debt recovery across government.

Find out more about the Government savings 2014 to 2015 in the technical note. The Government Internal Audit Agency has audited the figures in the technical note. A summary of their report is also available on the Government savings 2014 to 2015 page.

Across these savings £1.7 billion has come from digital and technology related activities.

Information about the savings data

The Cabinet Office ensures departments work together to address waste and improve accountability across a range of areas, including IT, procurement, projects, human resources and property.

In the financial year 2013 to 2014, the Cabinet Office helped departments across Whitehall save £14.3 billion against a 2009 to 2010 baseline.

A proportion of the savings are delivered collaboratively between different savings areas. This accounts for £140 million of ‘double count’ which is removed from the final totals.

These savings figures are not national or official statistics: they are based on management information evidence in department reports and other supporting evidence.

See the Government savings in 2014 to 2015 technical note for further detail about the savings baseline used.

Published 13 August 2015