We were told, when the new Coalition Government came to be, that it would put an end to “New Labour targetry”. The use of targets for public sector performance had become a bête noir of both Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in Opposition and they apparently couldn’t wait to scrap the whole lot once they were in power.
And indeed they did immediately scrap the Public Service Agreements (30) and Departmental Strategic Objectives (95 for the Departments we have counted).
But for the past two decades I have had this annoying habit – I don’t believe Governments, especially about these sorts of things. So I have done what I usually do and gone and counted. And the answers are surprising, even to me. Continue reading “Targets? What targets? Change and Continuity in the performance regime in Whitehall”
When the Coalition Government published its Spending Review in 2010 it ambitiously set out spending plans not for 3 years, as had been the case in the 5 previous Spending Reviews under New Labour, but for 4 years. This was always “ambitious Minister”, as Sir Humphrey would say. Continue reading “#SR2013 Watch No. 3: The Spending Review they can’t live with, and can’t live without?”
So, what is happening with Spending Review 2013 and is it going to happen at all? All sorts of rumours are flying about – in the absence of any clear statements from government. Continue reading “#SR2013 Watch No. 2: Is it Really Going to Happen?”
It is now a more or less open secret that the Coalition Government is engaged on Spending Review 2013 – a year earlier than if they had stuck to the SR 2010 “plan A”. Continue reading “Spending Review 2013 Watch #SR2013”
So, Britain is officially in a ”double-dip” recession, just. In reality this is both more and less serious than it sounds. It is more serious because we are still a good 4% of GDP lower than we were at the start of the financial crisis in 2007. And that is probably between 10% or more below where we would have been if not for the banking crisis. Continue reading “Doubling Dip: is it the government’s fault?”
Just a quick note: Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has just let slip on BBC that there will be a Spending Review “over the next year or so” (i.e. SR 2013) as i have been predicting for some time. More on this shortly.
With most economists now forecasting that Britain will officially re-enter recession in Q1 2012, the Chancellor will be under immense pressure by the time of the Budget on 21st March to at least be seen to be doing ‘something’ about the economy. Continue reading “Spending Review 2012 – maybe”