MPs on BIS Committee say government "lacks focus" when it comes to tackling low UK productivity

Lauren Fedor
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The First Conservative Budget Since The Election
Treasury minister Lord O'Neill is reportedly the mastermind of the government's productivity plan (Source: Getty)

An influential group of MPs has slammed the government over its efforts to boost Britain’s productivity, saying ministers’ plans “lack focus”.

In a new report out today, MPs on the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Committee said the government’s so-called productivity plan, first introduced last summer, “lacks clear, measurable objectives and largely amounts to an assortment of existing policies”. Committee chair Iain Wright, a Labour MP, said: “Rather than being a clear and distinctive roadmap as to how Britain will close our productivity gap, the productivity plan is a vague collection of existing policies.

“The analysis in the government’s plan is good, but the milestones for implementing improvements are virtually non-existent. If the productivity plan is going to avoid collecting dust on Whitehall bookshelves and having a legacy of being seen as worthy but useless, then the government needs to back it up by setting out how these policies are going to be implemented and how their success will be measured.”

Business groups, including the British Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses, welcomed the report, while a BIS spokesperson said the department will “carefully consider the recommendations made by the committee” and “produce a formal government response to the report in due course”.

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