By Claire West

The Government announced today that three ideas submitted to the Spending Challenge by members of the public and public sector workers will be implemented as policy by the Government. These are the first to be introduced and will help the Government reduce the deficit.

The three ideas are examples of how the common-sense suggestions, submitted to the Government through the Spending Challenge website, can make savings for the taxpayer and help the Government reduce the deficit and rebalance the country’s economy.

The three ideas being introduced are:

1. To reduce the number of CRB checks for Junior Doctors, by taking a more common- sense approach across the NHS, so that junior doctors are not checked repeatedly over a short space of time. This will save up to a £1 million a year and cut administrative burdens for the NHS;

2. To distribute National Insurance numbers to people with a letter rather than a plastic card, saving Government up to a £1 million per year;

3. Increase the selling of surplus and second hand Government equipment by expanding the use of the MoDs eDisposals service for use across all Government departments and the piloting of an online auction site.

All of these ideas were submitted through the Government’s Spending Challenge website. The Government has received over 100,000 ideas through the Spending Challenge. Over 63,000 have come from public sector employees and the rest from the general public website.

Speaking after meeting some of the people who submitted these ideas, the Chancellor George Osborne MP, said:

“These are the people’s ideas. Over 100,000 suggestions have been put to us and now we’re starting to put some of them into practice. In doing so, we are directly tapping the experience of those working in the frontline of public services instead of assuming Ministers in Whitehall have all the answers.

“No one idea will solve the problems we face, but taken together they can make a real contribution to reducing the deficit and rebalancing the country’s economy at a crucial time. People’s ideas will have a real impact on the tough decisions ahead.”

Other ideas submitted through the Spending Challenge are being considered by the relevant Government department. If they offer an opportunity to make practical savings for the Government, they may be introduced as part of the Spending Review this autumn.