Yesterday SPERI hosted an event with Lord Kerslake, former Head of the Civil Service, as part of the independent review he is currently conducting in to the role, responsibilities and operating mandate of the Treasury.
This was the first event as part of the review to take place outside of London and provided a useful opportunity for members of the public to contribute to the review. An audience including ex-Treasury civil servants, academics, teachers and local government officials joined Lord Kerslake to share their experiences of dealing with the Treasury and ideas for reform.
SPERI’s Craig Berry, our Deputy Director, and Tom Hunt, Policy Research Officer, presented SPERI’s ideas for reforming the Treasury which were set out in our recent Brief ‘Reforming the Treasury, reorienting British capitalism’ which we submitted as evidence to the review.
SPERI’s Brief looks at previous attempts to challenge the Treasury’s pre-eminence within government over economic policy, and suggests that the Treasury should be accepted as the dominant economics ministry with political capital and effort spent instead on reforming its role, responsibilities and mandate. We argue that creating an alternative economics department within government – for example, a ‘beefed up’ business department – would have only a limited impact.
The Brief also sets out how and why a ‘developmental’ approach to the Treasury should be considered. It outlines the need for a new growth model for British capitalism and how the Treasury can oversee its development and functioning, before suggesting a new approach for how the Treasury could better ensure economic stability and regulation.
Lord Kerslake’s final report will be published in July 2016. You can find the full details of the review at http://www.kerslakereview.co.uk/