Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
11 December 2014updated 24 Jul 2021 4:55am

Ed Miliband finds £500m of efficiency savings in the local government budget

The Labour leader announced the result of his party's zero-based review in his speech on the deficit.

By Anoosh Chakelian

Ed Miliband made a speech about the deficit today, setting out his plans for balancing the books if he makes it into government. His key announcement was the result of the party’s zero-based review, a study by his shadow Treasury team into every single pound spent by the government. The third interim report from the review finds that Labour can make £500m in annual efficiency savings in the Communities and Local Government budget.

In his speech, Ed Miliband said:

Labour councils all round the country have shown even in very tough times that they can still improve services.

And today the report of our zero-based review into local government is showing how we can make further savings of £500 million.

Having worked on this report, Chris Leslie, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, and Hilary Benn, shadow Communities and Local Government secretary, outline Labour’s plans:

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy


  • To save over £500m a year from 2016/17 through shared services, back-office collaboration, and streamlining, to better protect the frontline.
  • To end the complex, regressive and ineffective New Homes Bonus, with the funding reallocated more fairly within local government.
  • To consider proposals to merge some of the 46 Fire and Rescue Authorities in England, making savings of between £62.7m and £83.6m a year, in order to better protect frontline firefighters and appliances.
  • To save £100m from the £320m Transformation Challenge Award 2014-16, in which small authorities have been forced to bid for central government approval for outsourcing projects rather than focussing on collaborating with neighbouring councils. 

Content from our partners
How to create a responsible form of “buy now, pay later”
“Unions are helping improve conditions for drivers like me”
Transport is the core of levelling up