Peter Hoskin

Just what we need – another committee

Forgive me for being exasperated, but Team Dave’s latest Big Announcement is just plain exasperating.  An Economic Recovery Committee to – and I quote the press release – “review and analyse the economic situation”; “discuss immediate policy proposals to deal with the current crisis”; and “coordinate strategy for the long term reconstruction of Britain’s economy”?  Now, it all sounds well and good – and something may come out of it.  But it’s little more than slapping a name on something that the Tories should – and will – be doing already, and packaging it as something new.  It was cynical enough when Brown did it, with his National Economic Council, but it’s even more cynical to then follow his dubious lead.  More ruses like this, and the Tories risk dimming the effectiveness of the “headless chicken” attack.

Here’s the list of people who will sit on the committee:

David Cameron (Chairman) George Osborne, Shadow Chancellor Ken Clarke, Shadow Business Secretary Theresa May, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary David Willetts, Shadow Universities, Innovations and Skills Secretary Phillip Hammond, Shadow Chief Secretary Oliver Letwin, Chairman of the Policy Review William Hague, senior member of the Shadow Cabinet Sir Christopher Gent (Vodafone founder) Sir Peter Middleton (former Treasury permanent secretary) Baroness Noakes Sir Brian Pitman (former chief exec and chairman of Lloyds Bank) Sir James Sassoon (former Treasury envoy to the City) Simon Wolfson (of Next) Eric Schmidt (of Google) as International Business Adviser

It’s the final name that will get the most press interest, which was probably the intention all along…

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