Policy Statements and Initiatives

WAG: Jane Hutt, Minister for Business & Budget, has announced the go-ahead for 3 innovative projects to improve the way public services are delivered in Wales:
* A £11m, 5 year project: ‘Transforming Procurement through Home-Grown Talent’
* The rolling out of the xchangewales e-Trading procurement function across the NHS service in Wales
* The opening the next phase of WAG’s Invest-to-Save Fund
Press release ~  Improving public services ~ Efficiency and Innovation Board ~ Invest-to-Save Fund ~ Transforming Procurement through Home-Grown Talent ~ xchangewales e-Trading procurement function ~ WAG: Smarter purchasing
 
BIS: A plan to foster growth & lock in the recovery has been published by the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, who argues in his paper - A Strategy for Sustainable Growth - that ‘striking the right balance between making savings to public spending and promoting sustainable growth is crucial. But in bringing spending under control the Government is determined to create an environment that enables businesses to invest with confidence, thereby putting the recovery onto a sustainable footing and preparing the economy for the future’.
Press release ~ A Strategy for Sustainable Growth
 
DH: The Government confirmed its intention to retain the Food Standards Agency (FSA) with a renewed focus on its core remit of food safety policy & enforcement.

The Department of Health will become responsible for nutrition policy in England and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will become responsible for Country of Origin Labelling and various other non-safety-related food labelling and food composition policies in England.
Press release
 
HMT: The Chancellor, George Osborne and Exchequer Secretary, David Gauke have established the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS), which will undertake 2 initial reviews over the coming year.  It will focus on tax reliefs and small business tax simplification (including IR35).  It will publish the initial findings from the former in late autumn and from the latter by the 2011 Budget.
 
Over the past decade, the tax code has doubled to more than 11,000 pages and the UK slipped from 7th to 13th in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index between 1997 and 2009-10.  
Press release ~ Office of Tax Simplification (OTS)
 
DH: The first step towards creating a sustainable care & support system for all adults, that ‘puts individuals and their families at its heart’, has been unveiled by Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley. In setting out to Parliament the terms of reference for the Commission on the Funding of Care & Support, he made clear that it will consider a range of funding ideas, including both voluntary insurance and partnership schemes. The Commission will report within a year.
Press release ~ Commission on the Funding of Care and Support
 
Defra: Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, has announced reforms to over 30 of Defra’s (90) arm’s length bodies. A Written Ministerial Statement (29 June 2010) announced the abolition of the Commission for Rural Communities and the merger of Animal Health & the Veterinary Laboratories Agency. All approvals to carry out the abolitions & dissolutions of Defra’s ALBs will be made via the Public Bodies Reform Bill.
Press release ~ Public Bodies Reform Bill
 
CLG: Communities & Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, has announced the Government's intention in principle to abolish the remaining 8 Government Offices for the Regions across England, subject to using the Spending Review to resolve consequential issues.
Press release ~ Copy of the written statement
 
CLG: Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, has set out his vision for protecting the future of rural village life ‘for generations to come’, by giving local communities the power to build the homes they need. He has outlined a new right that will allow communities across England to come together and create new homes, shops, businesses & facilities.
Press release ~ e-leaflet, The Community Right to Build
 
CO: The PM has announced plans for 16 year olds to take part in a National Citizen Service (NCS).  Government-backed pilots for the scheme will provide around 10,000 places.  Aimed at school leavers aged 16, the pilots will take place from June to September 2011(following the end of the exam period) and will last for 7 to 8 weeks.
Press release ~ National Citizen Service (NCS)
 
CO: The question voters will be asked in next year’s referendum on whether or not the country should adopt the Alternative Vote system has been made public with the publication of 2 Bills on constitutional reform.
 
The wording of the question is contained in the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill, which will also reduce the size of the Commons from 650 to 600 MPs and establish boundary reviews to create more equal sized constituencies.  

The Bill was introduced to the Commons for its first reading alongside the Fixed-term Parliaments Bill – See also Newswire – EC item in ‘Legislation / Legal’ section.
Press release ~ Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill ~ Fixed-term Parliaments Bill
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