Small print reveals government will build fewer hospitals and re-tender highway jobs

The small print of yesterday’s Budget includes plans that could see fewer hospitals built and highways maintenance contracts re-tendered.

A note on a government “public value programme” in the 2009 Budget sets out how many departments will lower their spending over the current spending review period.

The Department of Health will be rolling out new metrics to “improve utilisation” of the NHS Estate and “reduce the need for new hospital space”. It is estimated this will save the NHS up to £100m a year by 2013/4.

The Highways Agency will be expected to double its performance against its value for money target by next financial year, by retendering “routine and maintenance contracts” and improving cost management on its major schemes. The Budget says the “ongoing retendering” of Highways Agency contracts will save the Department for Transport £140m this year.