By Jason Theodorou
Government ministers will use social network Facebook to solicit the British public for their ideas on the best way to make spending cuts. Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that the 26 million UK users of the site will be invited to submit their ideas for where public money should be saved.
A 'Spending Challenge Channel' on its Democracy UK page will allow users to post their ideas, while microsites focused on key issues will enable votes to debate issues in more depth. The sites will be available from today until the end of August, after which the Chancellor will seriously entertain suggestions and even meet with some site users.
Mr. Osborne said the government faced the 'challenge of a lifetime' in the face of the budget deficit, and that he wanted 'everyone across the country to send in their ideas'. The Chancellor said that the public's ideas were needed to improve public services and save money.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: 'We are really excited about having Facebook involved in the Spending Challenge... There's enormous civic spirit in this country where people want to take control, and do things in a different way. We are giving people an opportunity with Facebook, and I am sure that they will take it'.
Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook, said: 'We're really delighted to be in partnership with the British government, in order to harness the energy and ideas that Facebook users have to help the UK public save money. The Government's willingness to reach out and engage with Facebook users is going to go a long way'.
Public sector workers were asked for their views on how to make savings last month, and have already made 60,000 suggestions in the space of two weeks. Mr. Osborne suggested that most of their ideas were already being implemented by the Government.
In a video on the Your Spending website, Osborne said: 'Tell us where is the waste, what should we cut out, what can we improve... your government needs you, please get in touch'.
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