IFG - Public service performance is unlikely to improve by the next election

From: Think Tanks
Published: Thu Feb 23 2023

Decisions taken by Rishi Sunak's government will do little to improve performance across nine key public services before the next general election, finds the updated edition of the Institute for Government and CIPFA analysis of general practice, hospitals, adult social care, children's social care, neighbourhood services, schools, police, criminal courts and prisons.

The second edition of Performance Tracker to be published this financial year responds to a fast-changing and crisis-driven period in public services, the new government's decision to deliver a budget in March, and a series of strikes across public services.

The report finds that funding increases announced in the government's autumn statement are not enough to return public service performance to pre-pandemic levels before the next election. This means that hospital waiting times and lists will remain above where they were in 2019, pupils won't catch up on lost learning, and the prison service will find it very difficult to safely house any substantial increase in prisoner numbers.

The report also warns that the government's hardline strike strategy will damage public service performance, as refusing to raise pay offers will make it much harder for the government to address staff shortages - and tackle backlogs and other public service performance issues. However, raising pay means asking services to fund this from existing budgets - meaning painful cuts elsewhere - or raising taxes.

Notes for editors

  • The Institute for Government is an independent think tank that works to make government more effective.
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Company: Think Tanks

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