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24 September 2014
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Conflicting policy agendas from Blair and Brown causing bad government, Jonathan Baume tells Five Live


Category: Five Live

Date: 02.12.2004
Printable version


In an exclusive interview with BBC Radio Five Live's Chief Political Correspondent John Pienaar, Jonathan Baume - the leader of the First Division Association which represents senior civil servants - said that the conflicting policy agendas of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor are damaging the workings of Government.


Mr Baume said: "Well it's a problem because both Number 10 and the Treasury have had at times what are conflicting and competing agendas for Government.


"Government departments get their spending money from the Treasury on the basis of public service agreements which they sign up to.


"But at the same time the Prime Minister's Office also has an agenda and that's not necessarily the same as the Treasury's.


"Of course the PM is a very powerful figure in any government and also sends instructions and messages and directions to departments about how he would like to see each Secretary of State and each government department implement a policy agenda.


"The problem at the moment is that on many occasions these two don't always add up. And of course individual Cabinet Ministers, as well as departments themselves, have to make sense of this battle which of course is essentially a political argument going on behind the scenes which the government machine, the civil service, is really no formal part of.


"If you look at the future of hospitals, if you look at the future of schools, it's quite clear that the Chancellor's vision of what he wants to see in schools and hospitals is not by any means what say Alan Milburn or the Prime Minister might want to see over the next four years.


"It's not good government and it has become more of an issue over the recent period and it will need to be resolved after the General Election."



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Category: Five Live

Date: 02.12.2004
Printable version

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