Public to get say on spending choices
The Treasury will publish a document tomorrow which will invite the public to join a debate designed to produce a "fundamental re-evaluation of the role of government".
It will ask people to discuss whether the government needs to provide certain public services at all and whether someone else such as councils, voluntary organisations or companies, could do so more cheaply.
The idea has been copied from Canada which successfully cut its budget deficit in the 1990s.
The document will provide the framework for a debate involving government officials and ministers behind the scenes and consultations with, among others, business groups, trade unions and think tanks leading up to the unveiling of detailed spending cuts in the autumn.
The Budget in two weeks' time will set the government's spending totals for the next few years, but it will not outline the cuts to be made to individual programmes and departments.