Sack civil servants who can’t cut budgets, says Reform’s Tice

Richard Tice
Richard Tice claims 'every single' department in Whitehall wastes money - Lee Thomas

Senior civil servants should be fired if they fail to make budget cuts, Richard Tice, the Reform UK chairman, has said.

Mr Tice said the UK should be run in the same way as “a business that’s in trouble”, with officials held to account for the “waste everywhere” in Whitehall.

He also called for all quangos and commissions to be abolished, arguing that “no one would notice a blind bit of difference” if they were scrapped.

Reform – which overtook the Tories in the polls for the first time last week – launched its manifesto, or “contract” with voters, on Monday.

Among the key pledges was a vow to “slash government waste” in order to raise money for front line public services and cut taxes for working people.

To achieve this, the party would make a series of “critical reforms” in its first 100 days, including forcing every government department to save £5 in every £100 by cutting “wasteful spending”, improving efficiency and negotiating better value procurement.

Reform would also cut foreign aid by 50 per cent and scrap 6,700 “unnecessary” retained EU laws.

Speaking to The Camilla Tominey Show on GB News on Monday, Mr Tice, a former businessman, said Civil Service bosses should be fired if they fail to deliver savings.

Asked where he would cut first, he said: “Everywhere. There is waste everywhere. It’s very simple – what you do as a boss is you say to every spending manager of every department, you’ve got to save five quid in 100 without cutting the front line. That’s right. And if you don’t, guess what, you’re fired.

“And all of a sudden, in the world of business, that’s what happens, they save the money. They stop wasting money on nice-to-have. And we’ve got to run the country in the same way that you run a business that’s in trouble.”

Asked which department wastes the most money, he said: “My answer is all of them. And some of the quangos, there’s probably 100 to 150 to 200 quangos and commissions. Just scrap them. No one would notice a blind bit of difference.

“You’ve literally got to be really tough, really businesslike on this, otherwise we’re not going to create growth.

“What this does, crucially, and it’s the only party that talks about this, we’ve got to create some conditions for growth in this economy. We’ve got the longest recession per person. If we keep tinkering around the edges like these socialists of Labour and the Conservatives do, then we’re not going to create any growth.”

Overall, Reform has said it would make tax cuts costing £90 billion a year, which together with spending increases of £50 billion a year could be paid for through £150 billion in savings. The spending commitments are far in excess of those promised by Labour or the Liberal Democrats.