An accountancy firm has said that UK public services must undergo radical changes if the budget deficit is to be overcome.
KPMG said public sector organisations in the UK were dragging their heels over bringing in measures to cope with the aftermath of recession and future austerity.
In its report Tough Choices Ahead: The Future of the Public Sector, the firm highlighted the need for a three-step programme to slash expenses, boost efficiency and secure new funding. It also said the private sector should be brought into costing public service delivery.
The report comes after the Accounts Commission warned councils of increased demand and cut funds in the future.
Jenny Stewart, head of public sector at KPMG in Scotland, said: "By now it should be clear to everyone that the financial pressure which is coming along in the public sector cannot be faced with the traditional cost-cutting and efficiency programmes.
"The public sector protracted downturn does not require the same immediate response as that of the private sector but a long-term strategy that is seeking fundamental change."