Due to both ideology and recession, successive UK governments have been seeking ways to reduce the costs of providing public services and delivering welfare. Reductions can be made in the short term by cutting public spending, or in the long term by prevention strategies to stop people needing benefits or services in the first place.
There are a number of ways time banking could potentially save money. First, through a co-production approach, services become more efficient and responsive which reduces their cost. Second, by harnessing the energy of service users as assets, rather than burdens, users become resources. Third, if time banking improves health and well-being, long term welfare or service costs can be prevented.
It is hard to quantify the benefits of time banks and predict cost savings. However, there is some research that suggests cost savings to services.
‘Investigating factors that promote time banking for sustainable community based socio-economic growth and development’ – focusing on the the impacts of all three values, utilitarian, hedonic, and social, provided by web-based time banks