After a turbulent year in UK politics that catapulted two prime ministers out of Number 10, businesses may worry that public tech investment will falter as Westminster attempts to tighten its budget. However, an analyst believes they shouldn’t worry.
“Technology investment is still going to be a real priority right across the public sector, regardless of the underlying fiscal difficulties,” Robert Stoneman, service director of UK public sector at GlobalData, said in a new podcast from the research firm.
“Obviously, [the economic strains] will impact how much is available, but fundamentally technology is, and has been for several years, now seen as a way that public sector organisations can not only save money, but also improve the services that they offer there.”
The statement comes after 2022 saw the embarrassing defenestration of two prime ministers. First, Boris Johnson left after the weight of the Partygate scandal saw him lose support within his own party.
His successor, Liz Truss, quit after just 44 days in Number 10 after her first finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng tanked the countries finances after delivering his mini-budget. Truss will go down in history as the shortest serving prime minister ever, failing to even outlast the shelf-life of a lettuce.
She left the UK’s finances in tatters and her successor, Rishi Sunak, has been left to clean up the mess. The sixth prime minister in as many years has pledged to fix the economy, bring down national debt and to halve inflation.
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“We normally don’t see that kind of turbulence over an entire parliamentary term,” said Stoneman, adding that the chaos is likely to impact the public tech investment. Nevertheless, he was adamant that the government would still be injecting new capital into new solutions.
“I’d say the biggest areas that have benefited so far is health and social care, and education,” Stoneman continued. “So there’s been more money for both those sectors. There’s been a bit of extra money for the DWP as well around tax fraud and combating that.
“So again, if you’re looking at those areas, they’re the places where as we’ve seen several years now have been relatively protected. In terms of the losers, I’d say pretty much everything else across across the UK public sector.”