Miliband questions coalition IT cuts


David Miliband has questioned cuts to public sector IT, disputing whether they are truly targeting wasteful areas.

Earlier this week the coalition Government confirmed 95 million of cuts would come from public sector IT projects alone, but the Treasury has left it to each particular department to release details of what is going to suffer.

Speaking to IT PRO at the launch of his campaign website for the Labour leadership contest, Miliband spoke highly of the use of technology when his party was in power and was concerned about cuts waiting to be made at his old department.

"The Foreign Office has got the best website of any foreign service in the world," he said. "Not just the best in terms of you want to take an aeroplane with the ash cloud coming and need [to check]... but the best in terms of blogging ambassadors [for example]."

He claimed the idea came from the British Council who said investing into websites to promote British culture was really important, both for it and the Government.

"I don't know what they are going to do [with] that," he added "but it is not quote unquote waste."

Miliband's new website has a focus on sharing and getting conversations started between him and the general public, however he admitted he wasn't an expert when it comes to the technology.

When it comes to Twitter, for example, and other social networking sites, he only went as far as saying he was "quite" good at it.

"I mean no-one is supposed to give themselves an A plus," he said, "but I am a very organised person. I like to have three or four spots in my diary when I know that is the time I am going to do it."

He added: "I can definitely get better on that. The thing is you can get better at all of this [social networking] because the potential of this is so much greater than you would realise. I try to practice what I preach but I would be stupid to say I was [great]."

Miliband is currently running against five other candidates including his own brother, Ed Miliband, who is so far the only other candidate to have secured enough nominations to go into the final contest.

You can follow David Milliband on Twitter here.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.