First of all we want to thank you. Whether your job is nursing in a hospital, working in a government department, teaching our children or one of the other key roles in the public sector, you keep our country running. People who work in the public sector don’t get enough credit for what they do, so thank you.
As well as our thanks, we want to give you more trust and more responsibility. For years you’ve been undermined by targets and rules set from on high. Bit by bit we’re going to end that culture. We’ll set you free to use your professionalism, commitment and good ideas to make life better for everyone.
But let us be clear. The biggest challenge our country faces is dealing with our huge debts - and that means we have to reduce public spending. You will have heard in this week’s Budget that we have had to take difficult decisions on public sector salaries for the next two years, while taking steps to protect those on lower salaries. Like many private sector organisations, we have chosen to control salaries rather than see higher job losses. The more we can find savings, the more flexibility we will have to avoid job losses and wage cuts.
We want you to help us find those savings, so we can cut public spending in a way that is fair and responsible. You work on the frontline of public services. You know where things are working well, where the waste is, and where we can re-think things so that we get better services for less money.
So this is why we’re writing to you today. We’re asking you to go to this website - www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/spendingchallenge - and tell us your ideas about getting more for less. Don’t hold back. Be innovative, be radical, challenge the way things are done. Every serious idea will be considered: by government departments, by the Treasury, by our teams in Number 10 and the Cabinet Office - and passed to Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee to make sure we don’t miss anything.
So please, play your part. Let us know your ideas. We’re all in this together - and we’ll get through this together to better days ahead.
Rt Hon David Cameron MP
Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP