Public Sector Productivity and Public Spending

Treasury – in the House of Commons at on 14 November 2023.

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Photo of Marco Longhi Marco Longhi Conservative, Dudley North

What steps his Department is taking to increase public sector productivity.

Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Shadow Minister (Justice)

What steps he is taking to help ensure value for money in public spending.

Photo of Laura Trott Laura Trott The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

My hon. Friend is rightly very focused on making sure that every single pound of taxpayers’ money is spent wisely, and I can assure him that the Government share that goal. In June, the previous Chief Secretary to the Treasury launched the public sector productivity programme, and we will provide an update at the autumn statement.

Photo of Marco Longhi Marco Longhi Conservative, Dudley North

Estimates show that the public sector today is 7.5% less productive than in the environment just before covid. Does the Minister agree that this could possibly be down to a continued more liberal working from home ethic? How much is this costing the taxpayer?

Photo of Laura Trott Laura Trott The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

My hon. Friend is right that public sector productivity must be improved. That is exactly what the review is looking at and what we will address. I look forward to talking to him more about it in due course.

Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Shadow Minister (Justice)

I welcome the fact that the taxpayer has spent hundreds of millions of pounds on remediation work at the Teesworks site in Redcar. I do not welcome the fact that the assets, including 90% of the operating company and tens of millions of pounds of scrap, have been handed over by the Tees Valley Mayor to two private companies, whose owners are laughing all the way to the bank. Is that really good value for taxpayers’ money?

Photo of Laura Trott Laura Trott The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

I think these claims have been addressed by the Mayor, and I will not have anything further to say about them.