Majority of public sector workers expect public services to decline amid financial concerns.

Immediate release: 03 May 2018

  • More than 7 in 10 cite concerns about finance and resources
  • Majority doubt sector will provide future value for the taxpayer

Almost two-thirds (64%) of public servants expect the quality of public services to get worse over the next few years, more than three times as many as those who expect things to improve (17%), according to exclusive research carried out by the team behind the Public Sector Show.

Finance and resources are the biggest challenge identified by public sector workers, with 71% of over 700 respondents identifying this as a pressing concern, compared to 59% who cited Brexit and 38% citing staff shortages.

Meanwhile, with the UK’s population predicted to increase by 3.6 million in the next 10 years[1], more than half (54%) of respondents expect it to get harder for the sector to provide value for money.

Helping public servants cope with the ever-increasing resource challenge is one of the key themes of this year’s Public Sector Show, the UK’s must-attend event for those leading, delivering and managing the nation’s core public services. Sessions will explore how the public sector can achieve better value for money through commercialism and commissioning, and how collaboration within and between sectors can pay dividends.

Bringing together over 2,000 senior budget-holders and decision-makers, attendees will be able to hear from over 140 leading speakers, including Robert Jenrick MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury; Mike Driver, Chief Financial Officer, Ministry of Justice and Head of the Government Finance Function; Lesley Hume, Chief Operating Officer at the Cabinet Office and Paul O’Brien, Chief Executive of the Association for Public Service Excellence.

Furthermore, exhibitors including CIPFA, the Crown Commercial Service and KPMG will showcase products and solutions that can support the public sector in delivering the services the UK relies on.

Mike Driver, Chief Financial Officer, Ministry of Justice and Head of the Government Finance Function, said:  “Over the past seven years in the face of financial challenges the public sector has achieved tremendous things in maintaining frontline services while taking tough decisions. 

The UK’s public finances have reached a turning point this year, with borrowing down and the first sustained fall in debt for 17 years. The aim now is to ensure that debt continues to fall with the support and guidance of the Government Finance Function.”

Geoff Connell, President of Socitm, said:“The challenge of doing more with less means we need to ‘work smarter’ in delivering public services. Technology and data present huge opportunities to provide more targeted, intuitive services that improve people’s quality of life over the long-term.

At Norfolk County Council we have embraced the use of assistive technology in adult social care, with positive results. Doing this has had its challenges, but the potential benefits are too great for us not to pursue, and I’m pleased with our progress so far.

Collaboration and knowledge sharing are key, and I am looking forward to discussing the challenges and opportunities ahead at this year’s Public Sector Show.”

The Public Sector Show will take place at ExCel London on 26th June and is free to attend for those working in the public sector. Find out more and register here.


[1] ONS, National Population Projections: 2016-based statistical bulletin, October 2017




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