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White paper disappoints on dealing with shortage

by Paul Addison on March 13, 2017 No comments

According to a report, with the housing white paper cited as example, the government’s industrial strategy of coordination includes very minimal verification across government departments to achieve “an economy that works for all”.

It has been commented by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee that the industrial strategy, published in January 2017, contains a list of policy interventions but;

“lacks the framework for future decision-making which could be the core of a long-term strategy”.

To address sector-specific problems, incorporated into the strategy are proposals that could lead to businesses building agreements with the government.

In February 2017, the housing white paper was published, along with measures to deliver more affordable homes as well as a greater support for SME builders.

It is proposed in the committee’s report that the government are “failing to pursue” a coordinated approach to industrial strategy across Whitehall, noting that the housing white paper doesn’t;

“spell out how government and the construction industry could collaborate to tackle the housing challenge”.

The report states the following:

“This demonstrates how industrial strategy does not appear to be a priority for other Whitehall departments,”

it is said that the new housing white paper is a;

disappointing and early illustration that Whitehall does not appear to be joined up when it comes to industrial strategy”.

It has been suggested by the committee that it should be taken into consideration by the government to deliberate on launching a joint unit that will be bringing together civil servants from the following departments, with the aim of delivering an interdepartmental team to develop and implement the industrial strategy.

  • Business departments,
  • Energy Strategy departments,
  • Industrial Strategy departments,
  • The Treasury departments,
  • Communities departments,
  • Local Government departments,
  • Education departments.

It has been said by Iain Wright, the committee chair, that the committee has apprehensions that with government announcements the approach is “business as usual” and “a silo-based approach in Whitehall”.

He has the following to say:

“The government must be bold, ambitious and visionary in developing their industrial strategy to ensure the sectoral and regional balancing to which it rightly aspires is achieved,”

Continuing, he said:

“do not suggest a government which is willing to answer the tough questions required to deliver an ‘economy that works for everyone”.

Iain Wright said that with the aim of attaining an economy that works for in everyone’s favor, the government need to bring together a “much sharper focus” on horizontal policies, for example, skills and innovation, while adopting an;

“This could tackle challenges such as decarbonising energy-intensive industries, tacking health and social care, or automating and electrifying transport infrastructure, which will create prosperity and employment for the UK and its citizens for the long run”.

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Paul AddisonWhite paper disappoints on dealing with shortage

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