There's an element of truth here, on the other hand
1 - if you deliberately seek to pay less than the private sector you get worse staff. Maybe doesn't matter for doctors and teachers and everyone else who generally has to work for the government, but in IT, you end up with worse IT in government than outside. 2% payrises all round again next year?
2 - commercial websites are set up to sell stuff. That's what commerce is about. Government departments are not set up to sell stuff. In fact, anything which can be done by the private sector is done by the private sector. Government gets left with the tricky stuff that companies can't do. So, government websites aren't as slick at selling as commercial ones, well who'da thunk it?
3 - people can't find information on public sector websites. "I am a taxpayer and you are a public servant so you have to tell me what I wan't"... even if the request is ridiculous. Maybe you can't find the information because it doesn't exist or government hasn't committed to provide it.
4 - you can't do anything on government websites. See 2 and 3. Why does a department have a pointless website - because ministers demand that they have a website whether they need one or not.
5 - government websites are all different. Well knock me down with a feather. Why can't the DVLA have exactly the same style and layout as the ONS, when all corporate websites are identical? No, wait a minute, I've just thought that through...
6 - "and called for the money saved by putting information online to be channelled into the personal approach preferred by many people." Or, the savings could go to meeting the efficiency savings demanded by ministers and saving the Finance Director from a grilling by the PAC. Decisions, decisions...
7 - "Now stop pissing about with websites and get my fucking country fixed" ... is the correct answer. Now give that man a vote and tell him to use it wisely.
Hey, it's past four o'clock and I am a civil servant so I'm off....