Posts Tagged ‘industrial strategy’

The Coalition government has no coherent strategy for growth, argues Rachel Reeves

21/07/2010, 04:36:26 PM

Wednesday morning saw the first evidence session under the new membership of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee.  As a Committee, we chose to use this opportunity to put Vince Cable (as Secretary of State for the Department), and David Willetts (as his Minister of State for Universities and Science) through their paces, and put their recent announcements and departmental plans for the future in the spotlight.

This was the chance for Vince Cable to set out how the government was going to rebalance the economy.  It was his big opportunity to spell out their desperately-needed strategy for growth, and his vision for how we would rebuild an economy that was sectorally and regionally diverse, with strong, sustainable growth.  I looked forward to hearing about the evidence behind the decisions and announcements that had already been made, and his rationale and thinking for future plans.

With these expectations, what we actually heard from the Secretary of State and his Minister was a disappointment.  This disappointment started before the meeting had even begun, when we received copies of the Department’s Strategy for Growth, contained in what Vince himself said ‘could not be described as more than a pamphlet’.  His opening rhetoric may have sounded good, but his assertion that a new economy should be rebalanced rings somewhat hollow when, as I pointed out to him, the only mention of a regional strategy to rebalance the economy comes on page 14 of a 16 page document.


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