Budget 2024: AI and drones in £800m technology package

WhatsApp Group Join Now
Telegram Group Join Now
Instagram Group Join Now

image caption,

The Treasury says police will use drones to quickly assess traffic collisions and other incidents

The Treasury has announced that the budget will include an £800m package of technology reforms aimed at freeing up NHS and police time.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said before the March 6 announcement that there was “too much waste in the system”.

As part of the reforms, AI will be used to cut NHS scan times by a third and police will deploy drones for incidents such as traffic collisions.

Labor said the package amounted to “a spin without substance”.

The Treasury expects the proposed technological reforms to deliver public sector productivity gains worth £1.8bn by 2029.

“There’s too much waste in the system and we want public servants to do what’s most important: teaching our children, keeping us safe and treating us when we’re sick,” Mr Hunt said.

“That’s why our plan is about reaping the rewards of productivity, from faster access to MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) for patients to thousands of police hours freed up to attend burglary or domestic abuse incidents. “

The Treasury said the latest move would mean 130,000 patients a year – including those waiting for cancer results – to have at least 100 MRI scanners in England upgraded with AI. As a result, you will get your completed tests quickly.

In policing, he added, the reforms would help deliver the Police Productivity Review, which said up to 38 million hours of officer time could be saved each year.

Other key initiatives in the £800m investment include:

  • £170m to save the justice system 55,000 hours of administrative time a year by digitizing jury bundles and new software to streamline parole decisions
  • £165m last year to reduce local authority spending on children’s social care places across England at a cost of over £670m to provide 200 extra children’s social care places, reducing reliance on expensive emergency places for children of the
  • £34m to reduce fraud through wider use of AI in government agencies – a move expected to save $100m

Darren Jones, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: “After 14 years of Conservative economic failure in Britain, nothing is better.

“Millions of people are stuck on hospital waiting lists, our schools are crumbling and our roads less safe. And yet all the Chancellor is offering is more wandering without substance.”

As the BBC’s Faisal Islam reports, the budget comes with hopes of unveiling voter-friendly tax cuts ahead of this year’s general election.

It had initially hoped for about £30bn of “headroom” at the start of the year as its borrowing costs fell sharply, but the BBC understands that figure was revised down last month. By the middle of 2016, the figure had returned to November levels of around £13 billion.

WhatsApp Group Join Now
Telegram Group Join Now
Instagram Group Join Now

Leave a Comment