Where Britain can cut
SIR – I was not surprised to see Canadian arrangements of a few years ago labelled a possible “radical solution” to our national debt problem (report, June 7).
When I was a young man struggling to achieve accounting qualifications, the method was well known, under the name of “zero-base budgeting”.
To achieve savings, using this method, one started at the bottom instead of at the top. Looking at an expense head, you didn’t say: what can we cut from it? You said: if we were starting again from nothing, what would we need? It’s quite amazing the difference in the figures produced.
Perhaps zero-base budgeting stemmed from an age in which money was a scarce commodity, not something collected from other people and thrown at problems, as has been the case in the last decade.
Market Harborough, Leicestershire