Press release

The Chancellor launches the Spending Challenge

Today, George Osborne called on the public to send him their very best ideas on how to get more for less from our public services.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Today, George Osborne called on the public to send him their very best ideas on how to get more for less from our public services.

From today, anyone can go to the new Spending Challenge Public engagement website and submit their ideas.

The government believes that the people who use our schools, hospitals, transport systems and other public services are the best people to comment on how to get more out of our services, while tackling the country’s record deficit.

This year Britain had the highest annual borrowing of any country in the G20. The government believes urgent action is needed to tackle the deficit. Last month’s Budget set out a plan to balance the books by 2014-15, including substantial reductions in public spending.

It is going to require tough decisions, and that means approaching the Spending Review in a completely different way in order to re-shape how we all benefit from and use public services.

In a period of just two weeks, the workers who deliver our public services have sent in more than 60,000 suggestions.

From today, the whole country is being asked to send in ideas during July and August, and to tell the government what they think about the ideas that are put forward.

Alongside the website, the Chancellor and other Ministers will be taking part in seminars and visits across the country. They will be listening to the public’s ideas in person and seeking views on how public spending should be cut, while protecting the vulnerable in our society.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:

We are facing the challenge of a lifetime. After years of Labour waste, there is now simply not enough money to go round.

That’s why I’m asking everyone across the country to send in their ideas. We need to tackle this huge national debt and make our economy stronger, and it’s your ideas that will help us do that by improving public services and saving money.

Notes for editors

  1. The link to the Spending Challenge website is :

  2. The Chancellor launched the Spending Challenge website on 24 June 2010. The first phase was aimed at the public sector and had received 61,888 ideas (as of 08 July). A sample of the ideas submitted are available on the HM Treasury website.

  3. The Spending Review Framework can be found on the Spending Review section of the HM Treasury website.

  4. The Spending Review will be a complete re-evaluation of the government’s roles in providing public services. It will do this by:

    • thinking innovatively about the role of the government in society
    • taking the difficult decisions to reduce the deficit collectively as a government
    • consulting widely using all talents to deliver a stronger society and a smaller state
  5. The ideas generated throughout the summer will inform the decisions taken on the allocation of money between government departments over the next 4 years. The Spending Review, which will set out how much each department will have to spend will be published on 20 October.

  6. People will also be able to get in touch via the democracy UK section on facebook where they can discuss and debate spending priorities and submit ideas for where cuts can be made.

Non-media enquiries should be addressed to the Treasury Correspondence and Enquiry Unit on 020 7270 4558 or by e-mail to

Media enquiries should be addressed to the Treasury Press Office on 020 7270 5238.

Published 9 July 2010