Spring budget yet another exercise in cynical political short-termism


As expected, the Chancellor's speech today was a political announcement rather than an economic budget event, doing little to help move the needle in boosting public sector productivity. It is backward-looking, and lacks a long-term vision required to ensure the resilience and sustainability of public services.

CIPFA has repeatedly called for financial reform to fix the failings of our crumbling public sector. The focus on boosting productivity in public services is welcome, however, building an economy that is resilient to future shocks requires strategic and sustainable investment.

Rob Whiteman, CIPFA CEO, said:

“The budget kicks the real decisions into the long grass by not resolving the sources of funding that will pay for today’s tax cuts. Given the uncertainties around the economic and fiscal projections, any significant changes before a general election could further impair clarity around sustainability of the public finances.  It continues to operate on a short-term basis leaving public services to keep delivering more with less and less resources and a central government unable, or unwilling, to act."

Notes to editor

CIPFA supports the public sector in responding to long-term funding challenges and multiple crises that have impacted our society through its range of digital tools, research and projects.

NHS Productivity Allocations: The government is committing £3.4 billion of additional CDEL over three years from 2025-26 as part of the NHS’s productivity plan in England, investing in technological and digital transformation to help unlock £35 billion cumulative savings by 2029-30. However, Table 5.1 in the Spring Budget on gov.uk totals only £2.6bn which leaves £800m missing. Read the budget document.

CIPFA’s performance tracker in collaboration with the Institute for Government provides insights and recommendations on how government can better target public spending in nine public services.

CIPFA’s Financial Resilience Index is a comparative analytical tool that is intended to be used by Chief Financial Officers to support good financial management. The index shows a council's position on a range of measures associated with financial risk, highlighting where additional scrutiny may be required.

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