Civil servants are ‘servants of the people’, claims Cameron

In a speech this morning, Prime Minister David Cameron reminded civil servants attending the Civil Service Live conference that they are “the servants of the people of this country. They [the people] are the boss”.

Cameron urged the delegates to join him in bringing on “the people power revolution”, which is aimed at increasing competition, choice of service and improving value for citizens as the government emphasises “democratic accountability”.

In response to a delegate’s question about allowing greater risk taking, Cameron acknowledged that the government and civil service must develop a culture around deciding which risks were worth taking.

He said that the government had to do two things: develop a “proper failure regime” but also around winning the argument that “more risk taking is worthwhile… a culture of risk is necessary for a culture of innovation”.

Cameron deferred another delegate’s question about investing in HMRC staff resources to “my good friend [Chancellor] George [Osborne]’’ but said that simplifying the UK tax system was key to better adherence to tax laws.