Maude in bid to find savings by delivering services online

FRANCIS Maude, the cabinet office minister, yesterday said the government would cut waste and introduce radical reforms in a bid to protect jobs and frontline public services from swingeing cuts.

Maude has drafted in Martha Lane Fox, the government’s digital adviser and founder of travel site lastminute.com, to see if some services can be delivered through an online-only model to reduce costs.

He said: “In an age when 96 per cent of all 25-34 years olds are internet users, just 13 per cent of our contact with citizens is currently carried out online.”

The coalition will leave “no stone unturned” as it seeks to root out waste and find efficiencies in the public sector, Maude said, as he laid out a raft of savings achieved so far.

The coalition has saved £402m by axing ID?cards, he said, while a further £18m had been saved by ?vacating 20 government buildings, Maude said. Around £27m has been cut from the government advertising budget.

Meanwhile, plans to renegotiate contracts with suppliers have “progressed quickly”, Maude said, resulting in an estimated £800m of savings by the end of this year.