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Tories to scrutinise IT spending as part of thrift economy

Microscope contributor


Tory leader David Cameron has put IT savings at the heart of his attempts, if elected, to reduce government debt levels as part of his focus on "thrift".

Some of the obvious targets for clawing back money are around the NHS IT systems and the idea of introducing a national ID card scheme. But Cameron's general thrust echoed sentiments expressed in the industry over the past few weeks.

Just before last week's Budget the former head of Logica Martin Read has reported that more efficient use of IT could save the government £7bn a year and earlier this year Logicalis led calls for more efficient use of IT in local government.

Cameron yesterday told delegates at the Conservative spring conference in Cheltenham that the debt that the "spendaholic" government had tallied up would be reversed if the Conservatives came into power.

"Our recovery will be held back, and our children will be weighed down, by a millstone of debt. So this is no time for business as usual. This is no time for more of the same. There is only one way out of this mess, and that is through massive change. I’m frustrated it’s not happening. I’m impatient to get on with it," he said.

Labour hit back and said the measures would damage the economy and the Liberals described the speech and its recommendations as a gimmick.

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