Impact of hard economic times on public services

03 December 2009

The Commons Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) hears evidence from four expert commentators on its new inquiry into public administration and the fiscal squeeze. Watch live from 10am.

The witnesses are:


  • David Halpern, Director of Research at the Institute for Government and former Number 10 adviser
  • Andrew Haldenby, Director of Reform, an independent, charitable, non-party think tank
  • Tony Travers, London School of Economics
  • Colin Talbot, Manchester Business School

The short inquiry is looking at how ministers and public servants can conduct the business of government most effectively in the face of likely future public spending cuts.

PASC’s particular focus is the impact of hard economic times on government administration and public services, rather than on the economics of deficit reduction.

It also comes as proposals are being put forward by government and others to achieve 'smarter government'.

The session is expected to cover the following issues:

  • the nature of expected cuts to public expenditure (targeted or across-the-board)
  • possible effects on the size and organisation of central government, frontline public services and other public sector bodies
  • the relative merits of different approaches to making public spending cuts
  • how to determine the areas that government should and should not be involved in
  • how government officials and public servants could manage the process of implementing cuts most effectively

Image: iStockphoto

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