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Performance Tracker: A data-driven analysis of the performance of government

Performance Tracker brings together more than 100 data series to provide a comprehensive picture of the performance of government in running key public
services. Our analysis reveals the key decision points that the Chancellor faces in the run-up to his first Autumn Budget.

The era of tight spending controls, initiated under the Coalition Government, is far from over. The spending squeeze, which has seen government spending fall by around 1.7% in real terms since 2010* is set to continue into the next decade. The 2015 Spending Review set out plans for day-to-day spending to be £5.2 billion (bn) lower in real terms in 2019/20 than in 2015/16 (having fallen to £10.4bn lower the year before).

Performance Tracker sets out the context in which this will happen. The data show that some services – such as criminal courts and some neighbourhood services – are continuing to make efficiencies but there are pressures building up in others.

A lack of successful action to reform services and mitigate these pressures has created an imperative to act in certain services – particularly, as the analysis in this report will show, in prisons, hospitals, schools and adult social care. This is a poor state of affairs: no government should end up in such a situation, unless there is a natural disaster or similar unpredictable emergency. Ultimately, then, government needs to improve the way it makes spending decisions, to break out of a reactive cycle of crisis, cash, repeat.