Government needs a clearer strategic plan, says committee

 
Julian Harris
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THE GOVERNMENT was accused this morning of lacking a “coherent strategy” to back up its policies.

The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) cites “recent concerns about a strategic vacuum at the centre of government” and calls for the publication of a clear long term strategy in the run up to each year’s Budget.

The committee is currently given six strategic aims by the government, yet these were dismissed as “too meaningless to serve any useful purpose” by this morning’s report. One of the aims is to have “a free and democratic society”.

Instead, new policies introduced in each year’s Budget should come with “clearer links between long-term objectives and specific measures”, the PASC says.

Government priorities are too often shaped by Budget changes, the report says, suggesting that changes in tax and spending should reflect state policy rather than determining it.

“National strategy must be informed by a coherent assessment of the public’s values and aspirations,” commented Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin, who chairs the committee.

“This is not about abdicating policy making to opinion polls, but national strategy must appreciate what sort of country the public aspires for the UK to be,” he added.