Government's Nudge Unit goes Global

Published on Thursday, 20 September 2012 11:32
Posted by Scott Buckler

A UK government team is to sell its expertise worldwide after saving the UK taxpayer millions of pounds

The Nudge Unit which develops ways to improve public services through individual decision-making has identified public savings of at least £300m since its launch in 2010.

The methods of the unit, which is formally known as the Behavioural Insights Team, have sparked interest from foreign governments and organisations interested in adopting its cost effective techniques.

The Nudge Unit has already worked successfully on government policy:

  • Helping the UK Courts Service to increase the number of fine payments through use of personalised text message prompts, reducing the number of bailiff interventions by 150,000 and generating around £30m of annual savings.
  • Improving tax increase payment rates by 15 percentage points by telling late tax payers that most people in their town had already paid - again generating £30m of extra revenue annually.

The team has now agreed partnerships with the government of New South Wales, Australia and a local Housing Association and will continue its ground-breaking work across Whitehall.

Announcing the plans, Minister without Portfolio Grant Shapps MP said:

As a government, we've led the way in this innovative field.

"Behavioural Insight is about giving power back to the individual, encouraging them to think about their choices and how those choices will affect them in the long term.

"The work of the Unit has improved public services and saved taxpayers' money so I'm proud that it will be recognised on a global scale."

Source: ©Cabinet Office

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